Working on a dream: From Mines runner to Olympian

Mark Husted, a Ph.D. candidate in operations research, is training for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team trials in track and field. Known as the “fastest person in the history of Mines,” Husted broke the track record for 800m earlier this year at 1:51.54. Husted has been racing for the Mines track and field team since 2005 and has earned honors along the way.

“When I won a national title, I couldn’t stop smiling for three months,” Husted said. “If I won a gold medal in the Olympics, I would probably be smiling for about three years.”

Between 2006 and 2010, Husted received several Second Team All-RMAC honors and an ESPN The Magazine Athlete of the Year (College Division) and ESPN First-Team Academic All-American. His 2010 team finished 12th at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field National Championships and Husted won a national title in the 800m.

In 2013, Husted was ranked 49th in the world for the 800m indoors. He has competed multiple times at the USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships placing in the top five with a career best of 1:47.

This past spring, Husted traveled to New Zealand, where he placed third in both the NZ National Championships and the Queen Street Mile.

Husted has come a long way since high school, where he considered himself a “mediocre” runner, running 2:04 in the 800m. He was disheartened after his high school team didn’t make it to the state championships and wasn’t sure if he wanted to run in college.

“I wanted to be an engineer and ski. I didn’t know I signed up for track until it was on my schedule,” Husted said, who started on the Mines track and field team as a walk on.

Mines track and field coach Scott VanSickle, has watched Husted improve and become more confident and consistent in his racing.

“If he continues to train and stay healthy, he can run in the 1:45 range and be competitive at the USA Championships this season once again and at the Olympic trials in 2016,” VanSickle said.

Husted received his undergraduate (’09) and masters (’10) degrees in electrical engineering at Mines. Husted started working for Ulteig in 2011 and currently works as a substation design engineer while balancing his research studies at Mines.

“At Mines, we have intense classes and I have to manage my time well – I have to be aware of lots of things happening at the same time. Being a student at Mines helps make me a successful runner,” Husted said.

Follow Husted on Twitter and Instagram @markahusted. Through a sponsorship with Brooks, Husted receives gear and earns money through bonuses for certain achievements.


Kathleen Morton, Communications Coordinator / 303-273-3088 /
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations / 303-273-3541 /

About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.