NEW MEXICO — Nearly four years ago, Carlos Salcido was a name familiar to most of those involved in high school track and field in Wyoming.
After graduating from Rock Springs High School in 2015, Salcido left Wyoming for the desert and heat to extend his track and field career for the University of New Mexico.
On Top of the World
Rock Springs High School has seen many athletes come and go throughout the years. Salcido was one of those athletes who had quite the career while wearing black and orange.
Salcido’s impressive resume at Rock Springs High School included multiple state honors, eight school records and two Wyoming state records. To be more specific, Salcido was a seven-time state champion, six-time state runner up, 13-time All-State selection. He broke RSHS records for the 55 Meter Indoor Dash, 60 Meter Indoor Dash, 200 Meter Indoor Dash, 400 Meter Indoor Dash, 4×4 Indoors, 100 Meter Dash Outdoor, 200 Meter Dash Outdoor and 400 Meter Dash Outdoor. To top off his unbelievable career at RSHS, Salcido also broke state records in the 55 Meter Indoor Dash and the 400 Meter Indoor Dash.
“At the time I felt very young and naive,” Salcido said. “I felt like I was untouchable which in my honest opinion became a problem and something that I had to work on when I got to New Mexico. I had to learn to grow up.”
Learning to Grow Up
Throughout the last few years Salcido has grown up as both an athlete and individual.
Upon arrival to New Mexico, Salcido learned that the coach who had recruited him as a short sprinter had left for another job elsewhere. Lobos’ coaches and personnel determined to challenge Salcido to transform into a long sprinter as they saw his potential from high school competitions.
The change in position was not an easy one for the young college athlete, but hard work and persistence eventually paid off. “I started off a little bit slow my first two years,” Salcido said. “But after my sophomore year I exploded.”
To use the word explode would be appropriate. Salcido has won three Mountain West Conference Championships and seven All-Mountain West Conference selections with the Lobos. He has also followed his habit of breaking school records and currently holds the UNM school record for the 200 Meter Indoor Dash. He is also part of two other school records which include the 4×1 Relay and the Distance Medley with his teammates.
If that isn’t impressive enough for a small town kid from Rock Springs, Wyoming, last season Salcido qualified to the NCAA Championships in the 400 Meter Dash — a feat as difficult as qualifying for the Olympics. Along with the qualifications, he was named All-American Honorable Mention.
Salcido’s accolades since leaving Wyoming have taught him important life lessons and a great deal about himself.
“I learned that there is so much more out there. I learned that being talented isn’t enough. Being able to work hard mixed with talent is something that goes a long way. I learned how to be a more responsible, respectful and patient person when it came to things in my life,” Salcido said.
Despite the success that he has found in New Mexico, there have been many challenges and failures which have not gone unnoticed but rather served as opportunities to motivate Salcido towards his goals.
“The biggest thing that I learned is that failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When you fail you stay motivated to keep trying to achieve the things that you fail. If you were successful every time you would become complacent and things wouldn’t be as satisfying to achieve. There is nothing wrong with failing as long as you keep trying,” Salcido said.
Growing up he has done. Humility and hard work have replaced the former shadow of pride, paving the way towards a bright future both in athletics and life itself.
More to Come
While the memories of Salcido’s career in Wyoming remain in the books, the UNM senior looks forward to accomplishing more this season.
“This season I just want to stay healthy and compete,” Salcido said. “I want to be unforgettable and to do that I know I have to work hard and stay humble. I want to qualify for the world championships and compete for my home country of Mexico.”
Whether he competes locally or nationally, the new and improved Salcido will always keep Wyoming in the forefront of his mind.
“I just want everyone to know that I am extremely proud of where I am from. I hold it very close to my heart and feel a sense of pride when I say I am from Wyoming. I’ll never forget where I came from no matter where life takes me,” Salcido said.