When Wyatt Wyman graduated from Brown County High School in 2018, he had earned an opportunity that most high school athletes don’t get — the chance to compete in intercollegiate athletics at the Division 1 level.

The highly decorated runner was recruited by Indiana State University to run both cross country and track, and while he was poised to make a quick and successful transition to the Sycamore running program, Wyman quickly discovered that his journey was going to take some time and involve some adversity along the way.

“From an athletic view, I struggled as a freshman and sophomore,” Wyman said last month.

“Just as I should, I thought I’d make an immediate impact coming in as a freshman. I was wrong. I was running slower than I was in high school.”


Wyman was perplexed. He was working hard in practice, responding to his coaches’ instructions, putting in the time and effort but seeing no results.

“I struggled mentally and physically with this. I questioned if I wanted to be part of the team,” he said.

Unsure about his future with the Sycamores, Wyman shared his struggles with his teammates, his coaches, friends, and family members. “They all supported me, regardless of what decision I was about to choose,” he said.

“At about that time, we had a coaching change. He convinced me to stay. Three months later, I was back running the times I was in high school.”

Even though COVID-19 shut the Sycamore track program down for a while, Wyman was buoyed by the improvements he had made, and he stayed positive and continued to train with a new-found purpose.

“A year later, that next track season, I was running new personal bests in every event. Since then, I have gained confidence and believe in my abilities to become one of the best 800-meter runners in the NCAA,” Wyman said.

That may sound like quite a bold and perhaps unrealistic statement from a runner who had struggled just to hit the times he had established in high school. But Wyman, now a grad student exercising his final year of eligibility, has proven that he is one of the nation’s best collegiate 800 meter runners.

This winter, Wyman ran a 1:49.6 in the 800m at the Music City Challenge Indoor Meet at Vanderbilt University. With that performance, he recorded the 89th fastest time in the NCAA this indoor season and the second fastest time in Indiana State University history.

The 800-meter run was one of the events Wyman excelled in while running for Brown County High School. Wyman knew the first barrier he had to break was the 2:00 mark.

“I honestly don’t remember the first time I broke 2:00,” he said, but he does know he posted a 1:56 his senior year.

As a collegiate runner, Wyman set his sights on breaking the 1:50 mark.

“In my junior year at Indiana State University, I ran a 1:50 at the very last meet. This past indoor season, I ran a 1:49. It took me three years to run faster than I was in high school and another two years to run 0.6 of a second faster,” he said.

“With many sacrifices, believing in myself, taking risks in training and racing, training my mind and body, and believing in my coaches, I managed to get faster and eventually break the 1:50 barrier. Once you get to this level, chipping off even a half second takes lots of dedication and hard work.”

A great opportunity

That same dedication and hard work have helped Wyman with his academic pursuits at Indiana State as well. During his freshman year, he took a class that had different speakers from different majors come in and “give their pitch,” he said.

One of those speakers from the technology building spoke about the unmanned systems degree, and Wyman was hooked.

“From there, I fell in love with the aerospace industry and pursued a (bachelor of science degree) in Aviation Management &Unmanned Systems with a minor in Business Administration,” said Wyman.

He completed his undergraduate work in the spring of 2022.

Wyman, taking advantage of the NCAA policy that allowed athletes an additional year of eligibility due to the pandemic, decided to pursue his master’s degree.

“After talking with my fiancé, coaches, family and friends, pursuing my MBA and getting to run one more year was a great opportunity and something I did not want to pass,” Wyman said.

Wyman’s goals for the Sycamore outdoor season are straightforward. He wants to help his team win the conference title for the fourth consecutive year, and he wants to win an individual event in the conference. Additionally, he aspires to qualify for regionals and the NCAA nationals in the 800 meter run.

As Wyman approaches the finish line of his collegiate career, he readily is quick to acknowledge and give thanks to those who have helped him, starting with his parents Bob and Cheryl.

“I first need to thank my parents for all they have done,” he said.

“All the sacrifice and countless miles they have driven to either watch me compete for less than two minutes or drop me off for 7:00 A.M. summer practices. I’m lucky and I owe them much of my success. Without them, I would not be where I am today.”

In addition to the parental support, Wyman is also very appreciative of and thankful for trusted teammates and coaches. “I have always been surrounded by hard working teammates and dedicated coaches. That energy helps fuel practices and meets,” stated Wyman.

Two of those dedicated coaches were Brown County High School cross country coach Rob Abraham and Brown County High School track coach Kirk Wrightsman. Wyman attributes much of his success to them and his experiences as an Eagle runner.

“My experiences at BCHS set me up well to run at Indiana State University and against the NCAA,” he said.

“Coach Abe and Coach Wrightsman are two of the best coaches I have ever had. The knowledge they have on running and training really planted the seed for my future running career.

Training in Brown County also has its benefits, Wyman said, being able to train at Eagle Park and the Brown County State Park.

“From the hills to training on one of the best cross country courses in the state, I was very fortunate,” Wyman said.

“For a smaller school, Brown County High School has some of the best athletic facilities in the state of Indiana.”

His former coaches are extremely proud of his accomplishments.

“Wyatt has been running well for ISU the last couple of years. It really shows how good of an athlete he is when he broke under 1:50 in the indoor 800. I am happy to see all the hard work pay off for him. I cannot wait to see how his outdoor season goes,” Abraham said last month.

Wrightsman, who has maintained a close bond with Wyman, is not surprised by Wyman’s success story.

“He is a very determined young man who is willing to do whatever it takes,” Wrightsman said last month.

“From that standpoint, he was very coachable. He would listen, would give you feedback, and in the end, he trusted in the training you put him through. I am honored to have been a part of his development. To see how he has developed from the time he was a freshman at BCHS to now is just a testament to the quality young man that he is.”

‘The least I can do’

Unsure what his future beyond this spring holds, Wyman at least has a clear vision of what he would like to do.

“My passion and interests are within the aerospace industry. My end goal is to use that industry to help better our future here on earth and beyond,” he said.

He believes he may get involved in something project management related or the unmanned/autonomous industry.

A Brown County High School student-athlete finds great success at the collegiate level, meets the love of his life, earns two degrees and will soon be venturing out into the world to pursue his passion and make a difference for others — Wyman’s is a feel-good story that Wrightsman and other coaches can use to help motivate their athletes.

“I hope that Wyatt’s story is one that will resonate with other kids coming through Brown County,” Wrightsman said.

“It’s an example of where you can go and what you can do if you develop a passion for whatever it is you are pursuing. There is no limit to what you can do if you are willing to do the work and accept the challenges put before you.”

A record setting runner, an outstanding student with two degrees, and a young man with an extremely bright future, Wyman knows all about persevering through tough times, and is ready to help others who may be struggling.

“For anyone who reads this, I understand what it feels like to be lost and unsure of what the future holds,” he said.

“Known as ‘fear of the unknown’. If you ever need advice or someone to speak with, I am always here to listen and help. My goal throughout the rest of my life is to help those who have been in my seat. Life is already too complicated. Giving back to Brown County, Indiana State University, and others is the least I can do.”