Grand Valley State is next part of journey for West Noble's Colten Cripe

January 31, 2020

Colten Cripe’s journey to Grand Valley State University is as full of milestones as it is the miles he's run.

The West Noble senior signed his national letter of intent to join the cross country and track & field programs on January 30, just over 3 months after a serious car crash that left him with a long recovery.

“The doctors told me that I potentially could never run again,” Colten tells "Here I am running at the college level, it's pretty special. All glory to God. I couldn't be prouder of myself or my family or my coaches for helping me get to this point."

Colten putting pen to paper flanked by family, coaches, teammates and is something to celebrate for a West Noble community that has gone through so much in the last year-and-a-half.

"The culture here is phenomenal,” Colten adds. "I would have to say it started when I was a sophomore year, when I ran a 4:27 mile at the sectional in Goshen. that  was kinda the moment I knew I had the potential to run at the college level."

With the triumph of the day, Colten was quick to remember West Noble's former cross country and track coach, Chuck Schlemmer, who passed away in August after being hit by a car while riding his bike. 

“I'm just really thankful to have had the opportunity to get to know Coach Schlem. Everything he did for the community is just awesome. Prayers out to him and his family. I just wish him them the best," he reflects.

Colten’s comeback and improvement is part of a larger success the West Noble distance running program has had. The Chargers clinched their first Northeast Corner Conference championship since 2013 this season; Colten ran to a 4th place finish individually. They followed it up with their first sectional championship in 5 years; Colten crossed the finish line 3th. The West Noble boys track & field team were conference runners-up last spring.

Colten is excited to bring what he has learned at the high school level to Grand Valley State, an NCAA Division I school in Allendale, Michigan. Cross country features an 8,000-meter race in the regular season and 10,000-meter race at the championships. In track, Colten will compete in the 800-meter run, the mile run and 5,000-meter run.

He plans to study a business-related major at GVSU.

West Noble is one of 26 high schools that partners with Parkview Sports Medicine for athletic training, nutrition, sports performance, athletic rehabilitation and other sports medicine services for Charger student-athletes. Learn more at

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