Tristen Bronaugh’s high school track and field career didn’t go as planned.
First an injury sidelined him as a junior in 2019, before COVID-19 canceled the Crawfordsville grads’ senior season in 2020.
He never lost focus though. Always reminding himself of what he was capable of.
And this spring he had a chance to show that off during his freshman season at Manchester University.
“The feeling I had when I returned to running again was amazing,” Bronaugh said. “After not running for so long I was just ready. I was thankful to be surrounded by a good group of people. I know it that I had it in me, I was just being patient and trusting my coaches. I still have a long way to go to be where I want to be but this was a great start for me.”
The success was there too.
Bronaugh in a four-way meet with Hanover, Rose Hulman, and Franklin won the 100 meter dash in 11.65 seconds and was second in he 200 meter in 23.41 seconds. At the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference meet in Terre Haute, Bronaugh placed second in the 200 meter dash with a personal best 22.59 and was fourth with a personal best 52.96 in the 100 meter dash.
All the hard work and the patience had finally paid off.
“It means everything to me honestly, I still have a lot that I want to do,” Bronaugh said. “When I first got injured I told myself not to get upset about it because I knew that I could come back from it. As soon as I finished my 200 at the conference meet I just ran over and hugged my Mom. She drove to Terre Haute to watch, after that race it just felt awesome because she knew how hard I worked to get to where I am.”
Bronaugh’s success on the track earned him the team MVP for the season. He says he has bonded with his teammates and sprints coach Andre White, while embracing the daily grind.
“What’s special for me is the bond the whole sprints group has with Coach White, the sprints coach,” Bronaugh said. “It’s really nice when you can just talk to someone like a friend. He also knows when to push me which I appreciate.
“For me the training has been my favorite part. That’s what has got me stronger on the track.”
Bronaugh said there’s been a lot of weight training mixed in with running, and he continued to put in work while at home this summer.
Bronaugh isn’t satisfied with a comeback story though — he’s eager to have success and make a name for himself representing Manchester as a student-athlete.
“I want to stay humble and comeback better than before. I’ve been grinding this whole summer lifting and running,” he said. “I hope to compete and doing amazing in conference this year, I still have people that I want to prove wrong. I want to prove that I’m capable of being a great student and a great athlete all four years at Manchester.”