College athletes: Colin Slavin worked hard, ran hard for the Hawks
BY KYLE BRENNAN
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a four-part series on the 2021-2022 CIAC Naugatuck and Woodland Athlete Scholars of the Year.
Colin Slavin wasn’t surprised when he learned he was the male recipient of the CIAC Woodland Athlete-Scholar Award this spring. Qualifying doesn’t get much simpler than being the Class of 2022 and an All-State runner.
But for Slavin, the recognition was very special because it put him on par with his role model.
“It was still a tremendous achievement that I was very proud of, especially since my sister, Emma, had won the award two years prior,” said Slavin, whose sister was also an All-State runner. in Woodland’s class of 2020. “I thought a bit about all the time I spent not only studying, but also running and training to improve myself as an athlete.
Emma always set the tone for Colin, according to the younger brother, whether with running shoes on or books in hand.
“I started running because that’s the sport she was into, so that’s where the athletic side comes in, and she was actually the one who taught me to read when I was a kid. about two years,” Colin said. “I really couldn’t imagine being as successful as I have been without her as a role model.”
Colin had perhaps the strongest career of any male distance runner in school history. He was a two-time All-State cross-country runner, earning those honors in his final two seasons. He has numerous school records and he was a five-time All-NVL performer across the country and both track seasons — and that’s after losing his second season of outdoor track and indoor junior track due to the pandemic.
Still, Slavin said he’s even more proud of his team’s success, including a pair of Naugatuck Valley League cross country titles and improvement over track seasons.
“In my freshman and senior years, we won NVLs in cross country, but I’m most proud of our track and field team,” Slavin said. “I remember my first year outdoors [track]our team’s objective was to score more points than Derby’s Jakwan Hale [who now runs at the University of Tennessee], and this year we were in contention for an indoor and outdoor title. Even though we didn’t win, it was still great to see our team grow together.
Slavin has also been involved in many extracurricular activities at Woodland, including serving as his class treasurer.
Reflecting on his personal success in athletics and academics, he’s not quite sure how he achieved his top performances.
” I do not really know. I guess it was just motivation to try to be the best in class and on the track, but I don’t really know where the balance comes from,” said Slavin. “I’m very good at time management and studying, but it’s always been a mystery to me. … I think it speaks to my level of dedication to balancing school and sports.
Slavin will be attending UConn with a double major in Biomedical Engineering/Computer Science and Engineering, and he is already planning to continue his education beyond that. Although he won’t be competing for the Huskies, he said he plans to join the club’s running team at UConn and could transition to marathon running.
The valedictorian shared some advice for the generation of Hawks who will try to follow in his fleet’s footsteps.
“My advice would probably be [to] enjoy every moment because it passes quickly,” said Slavin. “A bad run, game, game or encounter does not define a season or a career, just like a bad grade does not define your education.”