Apart from school, EMS 6th grader Tristan Thrasher leads a remarkably active life, and he’s quickly establishing himself as a highly accomplished athlete. Tristan competes in U12 Nordic and U15 Biathlon, demanding physical endurance races that, in addition to competitions, typically occupy eleven hours of practice time each week throughout the winter months. His competition schedule has sent him around Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Vermont for events, where he’s garnered impressive success. In January, he won the C.U. Invitational/Rocky Mountain Nordic JNQ Cross Country Race for U12 boys. He regularly competes in the Rocky Mountain Nordic series and, in three weeks, he’ll venture to the Western Regional Championships, then on to Yellowstone for the US National Championships in biathlon.

Tristan states, “I was drawn to Nordic by my parents, who have been a big help to me in all of my sports.” He began Nordic skiing at age four, biathlon at age eleven, and, like both of his parents, he also enjoys triathlons, in which he began competing at age eight. While gregarious, Tristan possesses a modest demeanor around the EMS campus, and you’re not likely to know much about his athletic prowess unless you hear of it from others. Clearly, however, his mild-mannered countenance belies a fiery competitive nature and an equally expansive ambition. He states, “Now, my goal is to make the Junior Nationals in Nordic and hopefully to win the Junior Nationals in biathlon. Eventually, I want to make it to the World Cup and possibly the Olympics in biathlon. It’s the sport where I see myself going the farthest.” His perspective is no less impressive given the fact that he’s currently succeeding against athletes three years his senior, and certainly enjoying the process. He adds, “One of my favorite memories was from this season when I beat one of my top competitors, Landon, in a classic race. We have been challenging each other in every race, and he’s helped me to stay driven.”

Of course, Tristan is a student, too, and his ability to manage his schedule around his school work has helped to strengthen his sense of priority. He realizes that he cannot commit the same level of energy to all of his responsibilities, and his greater sense of what he wants to accomplish helps him to know how and why to get everything else done. He states, “I usually set aside one free day during the week when I try to get a lot of homework done. If I can’t get all of it done that day, I have to finish it after practice or early in the morning before school. I figure out what is most important to me by thinking about how my classes can affect me in the future. Sometimes, I have assignments that are less interesting or feel less important, and I get these done by working efficiently and focusing on doing them well.” His approach to his classes reveals a similar fortitude that propels Tristan in his competitions, and, as he has shown in both venues, his potential is boundless. We’re all rooting for him.