WORTHINGTON -- Adam Koller’s progress as a runner has been measured and steady.
He achieved varsity on the Worthington Trojans cross country team during his seventh-grade season and the light bulb went off in his head.
“I kind of knew that I had a talent for running,” he said.
Koller is not only an outstanding runner, he’s dedicated and hard-working. It’s his discipline, he points out, that sets him apart from most of his peers.
Last year as a sophomore, Koller started pretty well but advanced well past “pretty well” in time for the sectional. At the beginning of the season he was running a little under 18 minutes, but later turned in times in the 17:30s, and in early October achieved 17:08 in Fairmont.
He ran 17:05 at the Big South Conference meet, still determined to get under 17 minutes. It was on Oct. 26 in the Section 2AA competition that he finished in 16:47.8, becoming the first WHS cross country performer to qualify for state since 2012.
At state, his time was 16:40.
Koller continues to impress as a junior. He’s still working on goals for 2018, which of course includes not only qualifying for another state meet but improving his time. He’s always about improving his time.
The cross country and track and field whiz hopes to compete in those sports at the collegiate level. Until then, he maintains his running discipline -- a discipline which included 50 miles of weekly summer running leading up to the school year, strict attention to nutrition, and proper sleep habits.
The Globe interviewed Koller recently and shot video for a Drill episode. You can see the video online at www.dglobe.com. Here’s a sampling of the interview:
QUESTION: Tell us about your early years as a cross country runner. Why did you go out for cross country, and what is it that keeps you going?
ANSWER: “I wanted to get in shape for basketball. That’s kind of where I started, and I did pretty good my seventh-grade year and I made it onto varsity. I kind of knew that I had a talent for running. And I enjoyed it.”
QUESTION: To be really good at cross country, you’ve got to put in the time. What’s your secret to success? What makes you exceptional?
ANSWER: “I’m very disciplined. I think that’s what sets me apart from a lot of other runners. I have all my training pretty much planned out before. I stick to it and don’t let myself fall away from the plan I set forth.”
QUESTION: This year’s Worthington Trojans boys cross country team has achieved much, with several fine runners besides yourself. What’s the best thing about being a member of the WHS team?
ANSWER: “The best thing about being a member of the Trojan cross country team is definitely the camaraderie between teammates. We have a really fun team. We all push ourselves. We also have fun doing it, and that’s the most important thing in high school sports.”