Sprinter aims to climb podium

Are you primed and ready to go for the season opener April 7 at Greenwood?

“I’ve actually had a few things go wrong with my legs, so I’m working on getting healthy right now. I have tendinitis in both my legs, and I hurt my ankle falling off some steps at home a few days ago. My ankle is getting better though, and I haven’t had problems with my legs for about a week and a half, so I feel like I should be back to my old self.”

Four of the six competitors who finished ahead of you at state in the 400 last season have graduated. Do you consider yourself among the favorites to win?

“Yeah. I definitely think I can. With those guys leaving and me continuing to do what I’m doing and getting faster, I think I can finish in the top three.”

What about chasing down New Palestine legend and Notre Dame graduate Pat Feeney? What’s the time you have to beat, and do you think you can do it?

“He ran a 47.54 in the open 400, which means my (personal best) time (49.32) is about 1.8 seconds behind him. It will be tough. I’ve gotten a little stronger this year, so that will help. The other time I’m going after is 48.4, which is the walk-on time for the IU (where Poturalski already is enrolled) track team.”

Are you considering running in college?

“It’s a thing where I’m not really sure right now. It wouldn’t really bother me if I don’t, and it won’t bother me if I do. Every time I’m in track season, I think I really want to do it. But I know I have to concentrate on the school stuff while I’m there. It’s hard to be a student-athlete in college. Balancing all those hours of practice with all those hours of classes would be something I’d have to adapt to.”

What makes a quality 400 runner?

“No one likes running the 400, probably because it’s practically a dead-out sprint the entire time. So I think liking the event will make you want to be successful in it. (The race) is all endurance, pretty much. The human body can only sprint at its fastest for around 40 seconds, so it’s very tough to balance endurance and speed.”

How did you get better at it?

“I went to YouTube and looked up (four-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist) Michael Johnson. I watched how he does it, and I tried to mimic it. Then it was just repetition, repetition, repetition trying to utilize the tips he gave.”

Is Michael Johnson your running idol?

“Him and Pat Feeney are two of my biggest ones. I’ve watched him (Feeney) a couple times on the Internet. Our coach always tells us whenever he’s running. He says, ‘Pat’s running on Saturday at this time. Go home and watch something really cool.’ And it is really cool to see someone from our hometown running in the national championships.”

Among your teammates, who will surprise some people this year?

“I think one of them is Riley Wilson. He’s our 800 runner, and he’s going to be on our 4×400 (relay team). He has really cut down time on that one. He just does all the little stuff you need to do to get better. He runs every day. He lifts every day. He wants to get better and better every day. He has a real passion for the sport. He really wants to win.”