The first line in Colton Dean’s Twitter/X bio is both factual (well, pretty much) and humorous.

“1 sport student athlete,” it reads, something Dean hopes has drawn some laughs.

Dean, a junior at Canon-McMillan, does dabble in golf but said playing on the school’s team is just for fun and to help him in the long run, explaining that he wants to know what he’s doing while playing with colleagues when he hits the workforce years from now.

So, essentially, his “only” competitive sport is track and field, the amusement in that being that he is such an exceptionally versatile athlete that he competes in seemingly every event.

“He’s definitely one of the most talented kids we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Mike Koot, head coach of the Big Macs since 1994. “His versatility allows us to put him in multiple places to help the team whenever we need help.”

Yes, Dean’s list of events runs long, and this reigning WPIAL Class 3A 200-meter champ who last summer won a national title in the decathlon could be destined for a mammoth junior season.

Dean, who gave up football and wrestling following his freshman year, comes across as a cool customer, one who you likely won’t see melt down or fall apart when he’s competing in an event.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t “flip” out here and there.

“I can do any flip you can do,” said Dean, who was involved in gymnastics years ago when his family lived in Altoona. “I self taught myself, and I love to sometimes do them at meets.”

Back flips, front flips, side flips, front handsprings, corkscrews … you name it, Dean can do it.

He can do just about everything on both the track and in the field, as well.

Dean, who competes for Stallions Track Club, is a five-time national champion, winning titles in the 13-14 age group in the pentathlon and 100-meter hurdles at the USATF National Junior Olympics in 2022, in addition to claiming titles in the 200 and long jump in the 15-16 age group at AAU Indoor Nationals in 2023.

But Dean’s most impressive national championship yet might have been the one he captured last summer when he blew away the field to claim the decathlon title in the 15-16 age group at the USATF National Junior Olympics, which were held at historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.

“That was very impressive,” Koot said. “I haven’t had anyone ever achieve something like that, and I don’t think there are too many kids in the area that have done that.”

Dean racked up 6,456 points, with his closest competitor scoring 5,737. He placed first in the 100, 110 hurdles, long jump and discus.

“It was insane, especially doing it on that track,” said Dean, who said he looks up to Ayden Owens-Delerme, a North Allegheny graduate who on the same track placed fourth in the decathlon at the 2022 World Championships. “It’s breathtaking the second you walk out there just knowing that most of the elite athletes in the world have competed there and I’m about to compete for a national title.”

Dean competes for local titles, too, and last season finished in the top three in three individual events at the WPIAL Class 3A championships, taking home gold in the 200-meter dash, silver in the 300 hurdles and bronze in the long jump. He then took fourth place in the long jump at the PIAA championships.

This season, Dean said those same three events will again be his bread and butter (he calls the long jump his favorite), but he’s also planning on running the 100 in addition to possibly doing the 110 hurdles and maybe even the javelin. Dean is very good in short sprints. He finished seventh in the 60-meter dash at the PTFCA Indoor State Championship in February.

“I’m feeling amazing. I’m really excited to run the 100 because I didn’t run it at all last season,” said Dean, whose Canon-McMillan team will participate in the Morgantown Inviational on Saturday.

Dean said his goals this season include winning the 200, 300 hurdles, long jump and whatever he chooses his fourth event to be at the WPIAL championships. Improving on his personal records will be of major importance, as well. He has run the 100 in 10.74 seconds, the 200 in 21.68 and the 300 hurdles in 39.18, while his PR in the long jump is 22 feet, 10 inches.

Dean has excellent bloodlines. His mom, Jill (Garrison) Dean, was a heptathlete and sprinter at IUP, and his father, Jerry Dean, was an outstanding powerlifter who won a pair of national titles.

“It works out perfectly for a multi-event athlete,” Colton Dean said. “My mom was a track runner, so that’s where I get my speed from. And my dad was a professional powerlifter, so that’s where I get my strength from.”

But it all didn’t go to Colton. His twin sister, Bryce, is also on the team and is a gifted athlete in her own right. Bryce helped Canon-McMillan’s 400 relay team win a WPIAL title in a school-record time last spring.

“She’s kind of the same,” Koot said. “She’s talented in several areas, and she kind of helps the team wherever we’re short. She’s the best sprinter on the team so far, but she’s also talented in jumps and hurdles.”

Colton Dean seems to be just as busy outside of track and field as he is in it. Not only is he a 4.0 student, but he also works at Southpointe Golf Club as a food runner/server for weddings and banquets, and he even has his own business. He and three friends operate Men in Blue Power Washing Services, which they promote on both Facebook and Instagram.

Dean projects to be a decathlete in college and should have quite a few colleges trying to secure his talents. He said he’d like to attend a college in the South, calling the University of Florida his dream school.

While he could be a future Gator, Dean is a Big Mac for now. And his wide-ranging skill set will make him one to watch this season and beyond.

Not bad at all for a “1 sport student athlete.”

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at