Madison Fuller Bounces Back

Hallie Williams, Online and Layout Editor

It’s a Friday afternoon and junior Madison Fuller is outside on the track, stretching and warming up. Fuller is taking it easy, recovering from a sprained ankle during her basketball season two weeks before. She fights through the pain in hopes of returning the next week to start training for her best track season yet.

Flashback four springs ago to when Fuller was just a seventh grader at Burroughs, and she decided to try out a new sport—track—in the first year Burroughs offered it to middle schoolers. When the short middle school season ended, Fuller decided she did not want to quit, so she joined an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team, which she has continued to run with since she was 13.

With two years of middle school Burroughs track and two summers of AAU track, freshman Fuller decided she would continue to run in high school. She had no idea, though, that she would pull some of the fastest times in the entire state of Missouri in the 100 and 200-meter sprints. Fuller remembers how after her successful season,“both excited and more motivated to keep training.”

To finish off her ninth-grade year, Fuller had the opportunity to compete at state in individual races and team relays. She was the Class 3 State Champion in the 100 meters at 11.88 seconds and the 200-meter race at 24.42 seconds as a ninth-grader. In addition, she ran the anchor 400-meter 400 meter relay, placing second in state, and in the 1600 relay, she placed 5th in state.

Fuller’s record-breaking times put her in a great place for improvement and success during her sophomore year. Unfortunately, at the beginning of track season, she faced a big setback: a torn hamstring. Fuller’s injury took her out for her entire sophomore track season, but she remarks, “During that time, I took on a new role of being a team motivator. In retrospect, I realize how it made me appreciate the sport more.”

Fast forward to present day, back to where we started: Friday on the track. Fuller is again starting track season without her full health. She hopes to be back on the track the following Monday in order to begin training in attempts to improve her times. She is “proud of the training [she] did during the offseason, and is especially looking forward to running the open 400,” which is a new event for her. Fuller hopes that this season will help her in her dream of running in college. She exclaimed, “This season happens to be very important in the college recruiting process, so there’s a lot at stake!”

Throughout Fuller’s relatively short but successful track career, she has looked to her coaches as her mentors. One coach, Daniel Harris, reflects about Fuller as an athlete: “The most exciting thing about Madson is that she operates with great precision. She wants to do all the little things to prepare her physically and mentally for the competition, which allows her to accel as a student athlete.”

Likewise, Fuller’s teammates think very highly of her. Bria Ward ‘18 says some of Fuller’s best attributes that make her such a successful runner are how “she looks at every competition as an opportunity to break her own record. Another big strength of hers is her drive in practice. No matter how hard it is, she meets the times [the coaches] give and gets through the workout without complaining because she knows it will help her.” In addition, Ward comments that “knowing how hard she works, always makes me want to be a better athlete, and she is a very reliable teammate [who] constantly pushes me to do my best.”

So as the resilient Fuller heals yet again, she is hoping to improve as a runner, have fun in what she says are the most intense races in track, try not to be too nervous before her races, and maybe even return to state.