IOWATFXC.COM Interview with Johnny Fuller
I. When/how did you get started participating in running? – I started running cross country in middle school only after breaking my arm during football season. And then I only went out because our XC team, especially our coach(s), was awesome. I ran track in both seventh and eighth grade but I wasn’t a distance runner, I ran hurdles (and still would if my coaches would let me!).
II. Describe the support for your running that you’ve received from your family? My parents have always been very laid back when it comes to sports. They always wanted me to do something but it never mattered to them what it was (but my mom wouldn’t let me try boxing). They encourage me to do my best, but would never force me to workout or push me into something that I didn’t want to. They have done everything they can to help me realize my potential and for that I would like to thank them. As for the rest of my family, my little brother James, I would say that his form of support is more like telling me how much better than me he’s going to be. I hope he’s right!
III. Describe the help and support for your running that you’ve receive from your coaches, team, school, community, fans, others? This is an area that I would say I feel truly blessed. Glenwood is a great place to live and go to school for several reasons. As student-athletes, we in Glenwood have come to enjoy the successes of others and strive to be successful for ourselves. When the baseball team won the state last year, I wanted to make sure our cross country and track teams matched them as much as possible. Our cross country coaches, Todd and Lu Peverill, are amazing coaches and people; they’re like my running parents. If it were not for them, I would most definitely not be a distance runner. The track coaches, Coach Mark Starner and Coach Brian Albert along with Coach Peverill, were also incredibly supportive throughout the course of my high school career. My coaches often times believed in me more than I did in myself. Also, Coach Rew and Mr. Leon Portey instilled a confidence and character in me that I wouldn’t be the same without, thank you. Two things that I feel I have had the advantage of over most high school runners is our outstanding teams in both cross country and track, and support from not only the community in Glenwood but from the running community as a whole here in Iowa. It was very rare for me to run a meet without speaking with a runner or parent from another team who would ask me about the season and how I was doing. I would also be mistaken if I didn’t give a shoutout to a some teammates who are more like brothers than anything; so I’d like to thank Jordan Krug, Kyle Wheeler, and Eliot Lincoln for making track and cross country both fun and successful the last four years. It’s been real.
IV. Describe your track & field training program (year-around?, type of training, emphasis). Since the second semester of my junior year I have been working on a program designed by Lyle Knudson (a.k.a. the man who runs this website and who also makes some mean apple pancakes). Both Coach Peverill and Coach Starner have been very flexible with my training, which has been great. Coach Peverill also works with me on many of my workouts and race strategies.
V. What has been your greatest thrill(s) from your track & field participation? Two races stick out in my memory as the biggest thrills: the Drake Relays 1600 and 3200 my junior year. I think they were the most exciting because I wasn’t even supposed to be contending for a title and they were my first really big wins. Winning State XC and the 3200 in track were very cool and enjoyable and all, but in those races I just felt I was doing what I knew I could do, what I expected of myself. Also, even though I got 3rd in the 800 at state this year, running a 1:55.86 was really unexpected and I was pretty pumped about that. Taking the cake for the best team moment would obviously be winning the team title this year in track. It was truly a team effort and the fact that the victory is shared with all the other guys on the team is what made it so special (and we’re getting rings, which I think is pretty dang awesome too!)
VI. Other interests (personal, social, athletic, & recreational activities)? In the very little free time that I do have, I counsel camps for both our school and my church. I love pottery/ceramics and plan on minoring in that while in college. I play guitar, terribly, off-and-on and I love biking, although I have to stay away from mountain biking as I tend to wreck constantly. This summer I’m planning on riding some of RAGBRAI and also doing some traveling.
VII. Competition plans for this summer? I was planning on running the MidwestDistance Gala until our track banquet was scheduled for the same date. The way I see it I have four more years to run my heart out and only one more time to be with all my teammates and celebrate our season. Hopefully I can get a couple other quality races in and hit up some local 5 and 10k’s. Dunlap 4th of July Run here I come!
VIII. How did you decide on Notre Dame as your choice of colleges? I picked Notre Dame because it had the best of both worlds, academic and athletic, and I’m Catholic, so that was something I looked for as well. I love the campus, the traditions, the coaching staff, and the team. And who doesn’t love that big ‘ole golden dome, right?!
IX. Expectations for the future - track & field, academics, vocation? I have a couple goals for my time at ND and beyond. I would like to maintain a 3.5 GPA (so I don’t have to worry about my eligibility and all) while I study Biology Pre-Professional. I want to minor in Art (pottery/ceramics) and graduate in four years (or my parents might just kill me). Most of all, my main goal while at ND is to become an All-American. As for post-college, my dream job would be coaching XC at the collegiate level.