DU graduate chasing dreams from the turf to the track

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DENVER — When his University of Denver lacrosse career ended this spring, Michael Cox knew he didn’t want his playing days to be over for good.

“I just wasn’t ready when I graduated June 15 to set the cleats down and set the stick down,” said Cox. “So I thought I’ll give it a shot. I just like being at the pinnacle of any sport that I do.”

On Saturday, Cox hit the turf at the National Lacrosse League combine in Denver, hoping to show he has what it takes to make it at the next level.

“It’s really been a goal of mine to make an NLL roster,” he said. “The best way to do that is to go to the NLL combine and see how you stack up with the guys out here.”

Cox plans to keep on chasing his NLL dreams, but if it doesn’t work out, he has a few backup plans. And the NLL combine wasn’t the only one he competed at this weekend.

“I thought, ‘Is there anything else that translates to my skill set, being an athlete and having speed?'” he said.

The answer was rather unusual: bobsled and skeleton. The day before his NLL tryout, Cox was in Colorado Springs at the USA Bobsled/Skeleton Combine, where he took part in a series of drills to test speed and strength.

“You basically have seven seconds to show them how good you are here. It’s about 5 to 6 seconds for a 45-meter run, you jump a broad jump, which takes a second, and you throw a shot toss, which takes a second. Depending on how the scores matriculate, then I will continue to train and hopefully do another one of these or get invited to a rookie camp,” Cox said.

Cox says he and his family have always been huge fans of the Olympics, and he plans to continue to chasing this dream for years to come. Whether he eventually ends up on the Olympic track or on the NLL’s turf, he already has another career lined up that he’s ready to dive into.

“I start law school at the Southern Methodist Dedman School of Law on Aug. 19. It’s a balancing act. Will it be exhausting? Yes. Is it worth it? 100%,” Cox said.

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