July 1, 2013
Former 49er track & field star Colin Dunbar recently medaled at the 2013 USA Outdoor Championships (June 20-23) in Des Moines, Iowa, as he finished sixth overall in the men's hammer throw.
It was Dunbar's best finish at the outdoor championships as he previously placed 11th in 2011 and 12th in 2012. Earlier this year, Dunbar also took third in the weight throw at the 2013 USA Indoor Championships.
Dunbar had high expectations this time around after winning the hammer with a lifetime-best 231-01 at the Cal State L.A. Invitational in April. That mark qualified him for the U.S. Outdoor Championships and earned him a pre-meet ranking of No. 8.
Dunbar didn't disappoint as he registered a distance of 225-01 on his first throw of the day. That toss was good enough to secure him a spot in the finals (top-eight), and although he was unable to improve that mark, it stood as the sixth-best in the competition, earning him a medal.
Dunbar competed at Long Beach State from 2009-2011 after transferring from Moorpark College. In 2011, he led the 49ers to a Big West championship. He personally accounted for 28 points by claiming the conference title in the hammer and discus, while also finishing third in the shot put and seventh in the javelin. Dunbar was the second athlete in conference history to score in all four throwing events. The only other individual to accomplish the feat was LBSU throws coach Cory Loebl, who scored 30 points in 2003.
Dunbar was named the USTFCCCA West Region Men's Field Athlete of the Year and the Big West Men's Field Athlete of the Year in 2011. He went on to earn All-America honors in the hammer (second team) and discus (honorable mention). Dunbar was also the 2011 MPSF indoor champion in the weight throw.
During his 49er career, Dunbar was a two-time All-American, three-time NCAA West Regional qualifier and three-time conference champion.
LongBeachState.com recently had the chance to catch up with Colin for a Q&A session.
What have you been up to since finishing your collegiate career at Long Beach State in 2011?
Dunbar: Since my LBSU career ended, I have continued with track & field, training nearly full time in the hammer throw, while I also work at Acapulco Inn down on 2nd Street. I have competed in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials where I took 12th place. I also competed in the 2013 USA Indoor Championships where I took third in the weight throw, and recently I just competed in the 2013 USA Outdoor Championships where I took sixth place.
How was your experience at the USA Outdoor Championships two weekends ago and how did you feel about your performance?
Dunbar: My experience at the USA Championships was awesome. USATF always does a great job with these events and I was able to have some of my family out there to watch and hang out with, so that is always nice. As far as my overall performance, I was pretty happy. It was definitely nice to place in the top-six and come home with a medal and a little prize money. I was not that happy with my actual throws though. They got me where I wanted to be but they weren't the throws that I wanted to have.
Do you compete with a track club or individually?
Dunbar: I am still competing individually. There are not a whole lot of clubs left, and even fewer for throwers. I am still training at Long Beach State and working with Coach (Cory) Loebl, which has been really nice. I cannot thank our track program enough for all the support that they have given me since I graduated.
How has Coach Loebl's mentoring impacted you?
Dunbar: Coach Loebl has been a huge help to me over the last five years, from bringing me in (to Long Beach State) and giving me a chance, to helping me reach the top-10 level that I'm at now. Loebl has been amazing, he is a smart coach and loves what he does. He is always open to trying out new things and incorporating new ideas which has been huge for me over the last few years. With him, I've been able to go out and train with other athletes and coaches and bring everything that I learn back, and incorporate it into what works for us.
How many meets do you usually compete in, and how do you decide which ones you will enter?
Dunbar: I would say that I usually have around 10 meets per year, but I could maybe have as many as 20 if I really wanted. I am lucky to be in Southern California where there is a meet almost every weekend. I usually decide which meets to compete in by whether or not I like the ring at the facility, what kind of competition is going to be there and whether or not I can make a lot of money at work that weekend (laughing).
What is your ultimate goal competition-wise?
Dunbar: My ultimate goal is to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team and hit the World A standard.
What did you major in and what are your professional plans once you finish competing?
Dunbar: I majored in economics with a minor in entrepreneurship. Once I'm done with track, I would love to still do something with sports, probably along the lines of sports management or sports marketing.
You had a number of highlights in your time at Long Beach State. What was your most memorable moment?
Dunbar: The most memorable moment of my track career at Long Beach State would definitely have to be the 2011 Big West Championship meet, and the way our throws squad competed (scored 76 points). We really set the bar that day. All the future LB throws squads will be chasing that mark for a while, and to be a part of that was awesome. Also, just all the people that I met and all the friendships that I made while at LBSU is something I will always remember. I met some of my best friends here.
What does it mean to you to be a 49er?
Dunbar: Being a 49er means showing up every day ready to work, having love and support for your teammates and your school, and also showing your Beach Pride.