Charlie Obaugh RV & Outdoor Center Student Athlete of the Week: Russell Kramer

Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 3:21 PM EDT
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PENN LAIRD, Va. (WHSV) - Russell Kramer is a year-round track star at Spotswood High School with impressive grades and a stellar work ethic.

“I try to foster the culture of working hard in the team. I’ve got a couple of teammates who are going to end up being faster than I am now and I’m glad to be able to be a good influence on them and be able to push them,” said Kramer, a senior at Spotswood who runs cross country and track.

Kramer has been running track since 6th grade and has been a standout distance runner at Spotswood. He has earned multiple all-state honors and broke the school’s record for the indoor 2 mile.

“I think he has really elevated the program, especially the distance runners. He has a passion for distance running, both cross country and the distance events in track and field,” said Spotswood Cross Country and Track Head Coach Sue Rinker. “His work ethic is outstanding and he wants to be pushed and driven in the workouts and when his teammates do that they step up and do the same thing.”

Kramer said that his steady workout routine is the biggest key to his success.

“I think more than anything it’s consistency it’s the fact that I’m running all year including in the summer. I try not to take almost any off days when I can because it’s not about having the perfect workout every time it’s just about doing what you can every day,” he said.

Kramer said that the accomplishment he is most proud of in track is his recent 3rd-place finish at the Indoor State Championship in the 2 mile.

“I was really just spent after the mile earlier that day and I was able to bounce back well and outkick three other guys in the last 400 meters in order to get third,” he said.

In addition to being a standout runner, Kramer is also an excellent student. He ranks third in his senior class of 247 students with a 4.37 GPA and attends the Massanutten Regional Governor’s School.

“One of the things I really note about Russell is how much he’s matured academically, his interactiveness in the classroom is astounding, his maturity and of course his discipline toward grades has been nearly unparalleled,” said Emmett Sheahan, an AP Government and Psychology teacher at Spotswood.

Sheahan said that Kramer is active in class discussions and is always willing to engage with his peers and lend a hand.

“Russell is one of the first to raise his hand, make comments about what’s going on in the news, and try to relate it and link it to things that are outside there. He’s drawing together big themes to the concepts we’re working on in the classroom, that’s part of his focus and determination to be part of conversations and make sure he’s interacting with the rest of us,” he said.

Kramer said that taking college-level courses has been a big help to him and he has enjoyed the challenge.

“I think that it ties into running, to be honest, because they both take a lot of hard work and dedication. I’m glad I’ve been able to get into some good universities based on my academics,” he said.

On top of school and athletics, Kramer is also the historian for Spotswood’s Spanish Honor Society.

“I’m interested in linguistics, languages are one of my passions. Through that I’ve been able to connect with some of my classmates that I might not have before,” he said.

Kramer will run track at Washington University in St. Louis this fall where he plans to study either math or linguistics. His coach said that his impact on Spotswood’s track program will still be felt even after he has graduated.

“He’s made me a better coach because I’ve had to stay a step ahead of him at times with the workouts and the training and racing and planning,” said Rinker. “He’s one of two senior middle and distance runners so the rest of them that are remaining and will come back in the future will have as a role model to look up to and know what he accomplished.”

Kramer said he hopes he made a substantial impact on his younger teammates.

“I hope that they remember me well and I hope that they become better than I am now. During the indoor season, I set the school record in the two-mile and I’ve got a teammate out there who I think is going to be able to break it in two years,” he said.