DUBUQUE, Iowa — Don’t compete in track and field unless you’re serious about it.
That was the biggest piece of advice former Rochelle standout Colfay Pointer offered to the Hubs’ younger athletes in a phone interview on Tuesday. Now a freshman at Dubuque University, Pointer is happy with his new school, and he said he’s even surprised himself with how fast he’s adjusted to the college level.
“I actually had no clue,” Pointer said regarding his fast start to the indoor track and field season. “I just came in ready to work. Dubuque basically has all the resources I need. I just go to school, work and do track.”
One of the premier athletes at Rochelle Township High School, Pointer advanced to the state qualifiers as a junior in the 1600-meter relay and the 3200-meter relay. He also reached the state finals in the 400-meter dash, posting a sixth-best qualifying time of 50.29 seconds and finishing sixth overall the next day with a time of 50.13.
Pointer returned even stronger as a senior, posting the second-best qualifying time (8:04.31) in the 3200-meter relay alongside teammates Matthew Drendel, Donivyn Harms and Julian Hernandez. Pointer also finished first in his heat in the 400-meter dash with a second-best qualifying time of 49.33, and he qualified for the 1600-meter relay with Drendel, Harms and Xavier Rincon with at time of 3:23.43.
Rochelle went on to take second overall in the 1600-meter relay and eighth in the 3200-meter relay, with Pointer finishing second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.51. At the college level, Pointer helped the Dubuque track and field team win the 1600-meter relay at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Final Qualifying Meet on March 3 and place third at the Iowa Conference Indoor Championships Feb. 24-25.
“I just want to stay consistent for the rest of the season and do what I can to help the team get better,” he said. “My ultimate goal is to come back next fall in the best shape I’ve ever been in.”
Pointer has competed in a variety of events this season including the 55-meter dash, an event he posted a time of 6.61 in to win the Dubuque Championships on Jan. 3. He’s also raced in the 200-meter dash and the 600-meter run, where he holds best times of 23.31 and 1:21.59 (which earned him another title at the Dubuque Championships).
But his favorite event has always been the 400-meter dash, which he earned two top-6 finishes in as a high school competitor. Pointer ran a 50.41 to win the Sol Butler Classic on Jan. 14, and he shaved that time down to 49.85 to take the UW-Platteville Invitational on Feb. 11. He said that keeping his body healthy has been the biggest contributor to his success thus far.
“A lot more athletes tend to get hurt in college track,” he said. “College athletes are a lot more technical. We’re very specific in our lifts and our training and everything, so we have to do the little things right like having our ankles and our heels up when we do drills.”
While Pointer isn’t competing, he’s studying to get a degree in criminal justice, a subject he said he chose because of the numerous job opportunities the field offers. He said he may not necessarily miss high school track, but he said he still keeps in touch with his old teammates as well as Rochelle coaches John Dobbs and Mark Zills, who he said have had a tremendous impact on his development as an athlete and a person.
“I actually visit coach Zills sometimes when I’m in Rochelle,” Pointer said. “When I was in football my senior year I would always run to the school at like 5 a.m. and get help… they would give me shoes if I needed them for practice and they just made sure I had everything in order when I was having family problems. When I wanted to do extra 200-meter runs after practice they would help me out.”