Dawson LaRance and Kamal Craig-Golaube are thriving at Colorado State.
The two gay college track stars just finished a championship season at Colorado State University, winning the 2021 Mountain West Men’s Outdoor Track & Field title. They’ve experienced success on the track before: LaRance was an All-American, and Golaube previously placed three times in the Mountain West outdoor championships.
But their triumphs felt sweeter this year. Life is better with a running mate.
“Sometimes, you just need the gay shit,” LaRance said. “We started doing watch parties for RuPaul’s Drag Race, and we listen to our gay music. It’s always fun when you have a community. I’m blessed to have that.”
LaRance transferred to Colorado State after Minnesota cut its varsity men’s track and field team, though it wasn’t an easy choice. LaRance and his teammates organized a campaign to save their team, including an athletes’ march to the president’s house. Their efforts spared men’s cross country and outdoor track, but indoor track was still eliminated.
With one year left of eligibility, LaRance decided to switch schools, so he could salvage his final indoor season. A former teammate connected him with Golaube, whom Outsports profiled last year.
The two have a lot in common: They both started advocacy groups for LGBTQ athletes at their respective universities, and are committed to making sports more inclusive.
Last fall, Golaube published a powerful essay on CSU’s athletics website, in which he writes about the importance of his intersecting identities as a Black and queer man.
But most importantly, there is the “gay shit.” For the first time, Golaube feels like he can be his true self.
“I just get goosebumps,” Golaube said. “There was a lack of visibility in the track and field program. I never really was able to express my full authentic self. I was happy to have someone to actually have gay conversations.”
With Covid-19 restrictions lifted, LaRance and Golaube are looking forward to a hot gay summer. It begins with a pair of Pride events this month, sponsored by CSU’s LGBTQ Athlete Ally group. Golaube recently named LaRance the organization’s vice president.
Next winter, they will race together for one final indoor season. But there are a lots of laughs and shenanigans to enjoy between now and then.
“Even though there are some student-athletes who may identify with the community, it just wasn’t the same,” Golaube said. “I didn’t connect with them like I did with Dawson.”