• 11 NCAA Div. III national team championships
  • 32 NCAA Div. III individual championships
  • 176 Iowa Conference titles
  • 23 Iowa Conference all-sports titles
Michael's photo

Michael Splavec

Senior, cross country

(What you won't find on Facebook...even if you are approved as a friend)

Hometown: West Des Moines, Iowa

High School: Valley

Why Central?
I chose Central because I loved the feeling I got when I first got on campus. It just felt like home, and then meeting the guys on the team was just a bonus!

You are majoring in Elementary Education because…
I am majoring in Elementary Education because I have a real passion for teaching kids. Being in the classroom and teaching students just feels so natural for me. I love watching students learn and get all of those little light bulb moments when they figure out a new concept.

Who is your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professor is Dr. Esther Streed. She really challenged all of us to go out and find the answers to the questions we would have about teaching. Plus, she just makes her classes a lot of fun to be in each day.

What was your favorite class at Central and why?
My favorite class at Central has to have been Principles of Coaching with Adam Stevens. That class was a lot of fun because we got to have a lot of discussions about coaching and sports in general.

What is your favorite Central memory?
My favorite memory at Central has to be from my freshman year when we went out for a run in a downpour and got lost at Big Rock Park. We were running around corn fields, sliding in the mud and just having a great time. Definitely something I will remember for the rest of my life.

What do you love most about being on the Central men's cross country team?
I love how close our entire team is. We are all extremely close and love to hang out together. We are always talking about how close we are, comparing ourselves to a family all the time, which I believe to be very true.

Most athletes view running as punishment; what makes you love running?
I just love how mental running is. Every time I go out for a run I have a battle within myself about how this run is going to go. Am I going push the pace and make it hurt or am I going to stay back and take it easy? And running is a lifelong activity to stay healthy, which is great!

What did it mean to you to win the 2012 Dutch Spirit Award?
I was really honored to win that award last year. I wasn't expecting it at all, to be honest. I am all about trying to make our team better so going out and supporting my teammates all the time just comes naturally to me.

What I something that nobody else know about Coach Dunham?
Coach Dunham is really just a college kid at heart. He loves hanging out with all of guys and talking with us like he is still in college himself. This is great because it makes for a really relaxed feel during practices.

What is your favorite activity to do in your free time?
I love to play all sports when I have free time outside of running. My favorite sport now though would be ultimate frisbee. This past summer I was able to compete in the Iowa Games Ultimate Frisbee Tournament with Justin Burns, Jordan Burns and Nick Barnes.

What is more challenging: distance or sprints, why?
Sprints! Distance is easy to me because I can just set a pace in my head and just keep that up for miles after miles and it doesn't seem to bother me. Sprints though use such a different set of your body and can just get really difficult, especially after some good days of distance training.

Could you defeat Usain Bolt in an 8K race?
Usain Bolt wins every time, no contest! He is such a freak athlete that if he was given even a little time to train for an 8K he would be able to destroy quite a few people. 

Who is one person, past or present, that you would want to have lunch with?
Nick Symmonds. He is one the greatest track athletes out there now in the track world. He is a former D-III athlete, also. I think he would just be a fun guy to hang out with for a little while.

"This season I hope that..."
Our entire team, as well as myself, can perform at the top of the whole conference and beyond. Individually this season I would love to set a new personal best in the 8K. For our team I would love for us all to get healthy and finish in the top 10 in the nation.

Bucket list
Finish a Marathon
Finish an Ironman Triathlon
Become the "cool teacher" at whatever elementary school I am teaching
Attend an Olympic Games
Return to Europe to do more traveling

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Central College