Hawaii bound: Maddie Fuhrman to run for Hawaii

May 2016 Posted in People, Sports
Maddie Fuhrman

Maddie Fuhrman

By James Day

So why did Silverton High running ace Maddie Fuhrman choose to sign with the University of Hawaii, the last school she visited among 15 official and unofficial trips?

“I loved the coach and the girls, I think I’ll have the opportunity to make a difference and I really wanted to go Division I,” Fuhrman told Our Town in an interview at the high school. “Plus I think it would be super fun to live in Hawaii and have that adventure.”

Oh, and there was the weather, too.

“It’s cold here,” she said. “That gets old.”

Fuhrman has had a sterling career at Silverton in both cross country and track and field.

She improved in cross country from sixth in the Mid-Willamette Conference district meet her freshman year to champion this fall, and she took fifth at the Class 5A state meet.

In track and field she has eight district runner-up finishes from 800 to 3,000 as well as relays. Her best finish at state has been a fourth in last year’s 800.

No decision has been made yet on what events Fuhrman will participate in at district and state this season, but she says “I want to win all of the events I run at district.”

Her coach, Erik Cross, said that Fuhrman has meant a lot more to the program than wins and losses.

“Maddie has helped change the culture of cross country and distance at Silverton,” Cross told Our Town. “She has been an example of what someone can accomplish with consistent, smart training.

“As much as she has focused on accomplishing her goals she always puts team first,” Cross said. “Maddie is one of the most committed athletes I’ve ever coached.”

Fuhrman took a different approach to her training her senior year.

Instead of training through the winter between cross country and track, she participated on the Foxes’ swimming team, an approach former Silverton runner Morgan Anderson took before moving on to run at Oregon State.

“I used to get so tired and sometimes I overtrained,” Fuhrman said. “With swimming I kept in good aerobic shape and there was less wear and tear on my joints. I really enjoyed swimming. It really helped me a lot.”

Fuhrman began running at an early age – both of her parents were runners in high school. She began keeping a log of her mileage in middle school and has turned in more than 1,000 training miles per year.

Cross thinks she will be in good hands at Hawaii.

“I think Maddie will thrive in the collegiate setting,” he said. “For an elite distance runner, the high school schedule is tough. Finding time to balance training, school, rest, other extracurricular activities and friend/family time is a challenge. Maddie is involved in a lot, including a very heavy class load of advanced classes.

“In college, her coaches and advisers will have more flexibility to adapt her schedule to better fit training and competitions. And she will be training with athletes with more experience. I’m excited to see what she can accomplish and what events they will want her to run,” Cross said.

Fuhrman said she wants to study public health at Hawaii, with a possible international career with a group such as Doctors Without Borders or the Red Cross in her future.

When asked about the high point of her high school career, Fuhrman noted that she still has this year’s district meet and state meet to come. “But there really hasn’t been a low,” she said. “I’ve been injured, and it made me want to run faster and harder. I’ve loved everything about my high school career.”

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