UW’s Colton Paller nominated for Mountain West Conference Male Athlete of the Year

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - University of Wyoming’s Colton Paller is one of 11 finalists for the 2020-21 Mountain West Conference Male Athlete of the Year. The award is given annually to an athlete that thrived athletically during the academic year.

The athlete must also be in good academic standing and demonstrated good character and conduct on and off the field.

No University of Wyoming athlete has ever won the award.

Paller competed at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene during the month of June. He finished seventh in the discus, which also earned him First-Team All-American honors.

The national championships were a great ending to Paller’s collegiate career, which he called “the cherry on top.”

“That whole experience on its own will be its own cherished memory,” said Paller during a Zoom interview Tuesday afternoon.

Paller called it a “surprise” to see his name on the list of Mountain West Conference Male Athlete of the Year nominees. “I feel very honored that they even considered me for that, so I’m very appreciative to be nominated,” said Paller.

Carrie Lane, a UW track and field coach, worked closely with Paller during his career in Laramie. She said he started as just one of a bunch of good guys on the track team.

“It was his improvement in his confidence and his psychological fortitude that set him apart as the season, this season, in particular, progressed,” said Lane.

Lane said it was “rewarding” to watch that development from Paller.

“He didn’t falter all year,” said Lane about why Paller might have been singled out by the Mountain West for this award. “There was no real weakness in his performance all year, and so I just think objectively he’s the best representative of a male athlete at Wyoming.”

University of Wyoming swimming and diving athlete Melissa Mirafuentes was nominated for the Mountain West Conference Female Athlete of the Year. The winners of the awards will be announced in July.

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