|(Verzbicas while running one of two cross country meets, photo courtesy of Ken Moreland)|
As quoted in the Chicago Tribune, Verzbicas said "As a triathlete, I could really make an impact for the sport and only have good things happen. As a runner, I don't know. Maybe I could be in the top 20 in the world, maybe the top 10, but I wouldn't make such an impact." It appears his recent win at the Junior Triathlon World Championships sealed the deal, and was probably also aided by the fact that his stepfather, Romas Bertulis, was named head of the Elite Triathlon Academy that began in Colorado Springs three months ago. And if you are Olympic bound and not a US citizen, like Verzbicas, triathlon provides better access than track.
Hopefully he is voting for his greatest passion, for it would be a shame to see such a talent choose a path because it's the easiest way to be "the best" at a sport. I'm sure his team at UofO will feel the loss. But I am sure he will be fabulous at whatever he pursues.