Keaton Gruber Is Grabbing Podiums And Winning Titles

Keaton Gruber of Alexandria class of 2018

Personal Records:

800m - 2:08 (split)

1600m - 4:39.34 

3200m - 10:03.11

5K  - 16:08.98

State XC 2016 - 72nd place

State XC 2015 - 118th place

State XC 2014 - 123rd place

Where were you born and what sports did you play growing up?

I was born in Alexandria Minnesota, home of the extraordinary Big Ole. I played baseball, soccer, tennis and my favorite basketball up to eighth grade before quitting and running full time. My teammates and I still like to play basketball at our local YMCA before our runs in the winter. We use it as part of our warm up and a way to hopefully one day fulfill our dreams of making the NBA.

How did those sports prepare you for running cross country?  Why did you make the decision to be a distance runner?

I think doing other sports have helped strengthen other muscles that might not be used while running.  This helps to keep me healthy and not get injured. I originally joined cross country to help with the basketball season, but after joining my freshman year I got hooked, and ended up quitting all the other sports I played. The seniors made practices, meets, and pasta feeds extremely fun. They also made sure we got serious and worked hard when it mattered. Cross country was the first sport I did where my body type was actually useful. 

What is Head Cross Country Coach Travis Hochhalter's training style for cross country?

Our team focuses on our strength throughout the beginning and middle of the season by doing longer repeats while slowly getting shorter and faster throughout the season. We have a lot of trust in our training in that it will work at the end of the year when we are tapering.

What do you like most about running?  Why do you like that the most?

I really enjoy earlier morning long runs in the summer on our home course at Atikwa golf course. It's super fun being with my teammates on a barefoot run while the sun is rising then go get the Hungry Bear at Northwoods (best breakfast in Alexandria). I also love doing stuff with my teammates like pasta feeds, movie nights and bonfires.