State champ Kilbarger-Stumpff commits to run at Colorado

Columbus North’s Reese Kilbarger-Stumpff sees victory in sight as he nears the finish line ahead of Angola’s Izaiah Steury during the Boys Cross Country State Finals at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute. Tommy Walker | For The Republic

The Republic file photo

Reese Kilbarger-Stumpff had some of his Columbus North teammates over to his house Saturday morning to watch the NCAA cross-country championships on television.

As it turned out, Kilbarger-Stumpff had a rooting interest.

The reigning Indiana state champion committed on Friday night to continue his cross-country and track career at Colorado. The Buffaloes finished eighth in Saturday’s NCAA meet.

“It was such a cool race to watch,” Kilbarger-Stumpff said. “It was cool seeing them race and knowing a lot of those guys I’m going to be running with next year. Then having seen some of them on the visit, I was like ‘Oh, I had breakfast with that guy,’ or ‘I ran with him.’”

Kilbarger-Stumpff also had visited Boise State, Colorado State and Purdue, and the decision came down to Colorado and Boise State. He plans to major in computer science.

“Both schools had computer science departments I was impressed enough with and would give me a quality education I would have liked,” Kilbarger-Stumpff said.

Kilbarger-Stumpff, who led the Bull Dogs to a state team title last year and a third-place finish this season, noticed a similarity in the way his current team and the Buffaloes train.

“It seems as though they way their team goals are set up and the way they talk about the way they need to run is similar to how (North) coach (Danny) Fisher has had us do,” Kilbarger-Stumpff said. “They take running seriously, but not themselves seriously.”

Now, Kilbarger-Stumpff can focus on the rest of his high school career. The Bull Dog cross-country team will compete in the Running Lane Nationals Dec. 4 in Huntsville, Alabama. Then, it’s on to track season, where he was the state runner-up in the 1,600 meters last spring.

“It’s very nice,” Kilbarger-Stumpff said. “It’s a weight off my back to have that squared away. I can just focus on one race left in cross and then track.”