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The City Journals

Mark Rockwood: Record breaker and bookworm

Jun 19, 2017 04:59PM ● By Jesse Sindelar

Rockwood set school records in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter sprint. (Mark Rockwood/ Draper)

By Jesse Sindelar | [email protected]
Some people are lucky enough to excel at a sport, others are lucky enough to excel at school, and even some others are lucky enough to excel at both. For Mark Rockwood, while he excelled at both, luck had no part in it.
In Mark’s family, running track is family tradition. While his family members might not be able to boast about their 4.0 GPA or broken school records, his family is what got him started running in the first place.
“I’m from Colorado originally, and my older brother and my dad had run track pretty seriously. I started track at age 5, but I stopped for a while after that. Then my family moved to Germany for a year, and I joined the high school team there for a year,” said Rockwood.
And from then on, the sprinter’s track career only got more impressive. He is a senior on Corner Canyon’s track team, and he currently holds school records in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter sprints, set this year.
And as impressive as that might be, Rockwood was also selected for Academic All-State track team with a 4.0 GPA. That is straight A’s, from start to finish.
Few people can boast school records or a 4.0 GPA, and even fewer can boast both. For Rockwood, success came from setting high goals for himself and pursuing said goals with determination.
“I consider myself a dreamer and a realist. I need to be realistic about setting a goal, but those goals need to be high goals. So for example, for the 400, I set a goal of breaking 50 seconds, or for high school, I wanted to get a 4.0. Even if they seemed far-fetched, I didn’t let myself not achieve them,” Rockwood said.
With such great success in both school and sports, the time management and life balance required is impressive in its own right. But for Rockwood, the balance was natural throughout his life.
“I didn’t know any other way. I had always played sports — football, basketball, track. I moved here my junior year, and didn’t really know school without sports. I knew I wanted to do well in both school and sports.”
“I just had to prioritize my time really well. As soon as I would get back home from practice, I got to work on my homework. My parents didn’t really need to hound me about it, I just knew what I needed to do,” Rockwood said.
With his realistic goals in mind, Mark did achieve them. He got a 4.0, and he broke 50 seconds for the 400-meter sprint (he clocked in at 48.85 seconds).
Seeing such accurate and realistic goal setting and achievements from a high school senior might depress some and give hope to others, but hopefully all can understand the patience and dedication it takes to achieve what he has achieved.
The dreamer/realist Rockwood’s exemplary year will be a fond memory for him, and hopefully an inspiration for all. It appears the track world and academic world alike have a bright star headed their way.