“It is truly amazing how much things can change in the course of a year”
Grant Fisher for the seventh time in United States history ran a sub four minute mile for a high schooler. This was accomplished in St. Louis on Thursday night. Fisher placed third in the race behind two professionals in Jordan McNamara and Tyler Pennel.
But, What if I were to tell you that just one short year ago it was Fisher who bursted out onto the national scene by winning the Foot Locker National Cross Country finals? He and his coach Mike Scannell had a plan for him and as long as the plan was followed, Fisher had a chance to win this race.
Fisher came into the race under the radar. With 70 meters to go, he took the lead and the rest is history. Fisher told me that as soon as he crossed the finish line, he knew he had the ability to compete and be the best runner in the nation.
Fisher had been selected by Gatorade as the National Cross Country runner of the year and the 10th person EVER to receive this award back to back times, joining such athletes as LeBron James, Greg Oden and Brandon Knight.
Yeah, he’s that good.
ESPN, USA Today and now a perennial Gatorade Player of the year can be a lot of noise to handle for a 18 year-old kid. But, he doesn’t let it phase him or let it consume his life. “I try not to let it bother me, it does give me a bit of responsibility which I am grateful for.” Fisher also said that his friends sometimes like to steal his phone and tweet something as simple as “Hello” to see how many his retweets his 4,000 followers will respond with.
But, there’s a lot of hard work and dedication that most do not see that has Fisher to this point. His advice? Look at the perspective in the long run, start to build the routine and execute on doing the right things every day and do not beat yourself up on the day-to-day training. Fisher also went on to say that if you’re not having fun you’re going to be stressed out and ultimately are not going to do the best you can.
Pond hockey, Ping Pong and some video games with his friends and family are some of the many ways Fisher keeps easy-going. His incredible GPA and extra curricular activities could have him into any school in the nation he wanted to. But, he decided to take his talents to Palo Alto, California and run for the Stanford Cardinals.
“I didn’t really know the ins and outs of the college decision process, Stanford was the second of four schools I visited. I really am glad I didn’t make an impulsive decision and commit right on the spot, I loved it that much. Everything after that I would compare back to Stanford and that’s when I knew that Stanford was going to be home.”
Fisher has earned the respect of his classmates, teammates and other schools across the state and nation so much that when people didn’t think he was running in the state meet for track and field last year, other schools decided to pull some audibles.
“I rolled my ankle in a soccer game the night before and decided that I wasn’t going to race in the dual meet a week before states. When I showed up to the state meet, people were coming up to me asking “how are you fully recovered from the broken leg you suffered?!”. People were changing what events their best runners were competing in and started panicking when I had shown up walking on my own. Word spreads fast but I thought it was pretty funny.”
Fisher’s coach Mike Scannell and him have a great relationship, his dad and Scannell ran together at Arizona State and have been friends since. Mike started to coach Fisher and Fisher loves the fact that Scannell would train beside his runners and complete the workouts with them. “I was one of the slower runners when I started training with Mike and the other guys, I really looked up to older guys for guidance and slowly but surely Mike helped me become better through his different workouts. He keeps me grounded and humble and always tells me that he coaches fast, good people .”
The main role models for Fisher? His mom and dad. Fisher said that he never had to pick a sport growing up as most parents would like their children to micro focus their talents into one concentration. “My parents were always there for me and wanted me to do what I had the passion for even leading up to the decision that I wanted to focus my talents on only running this year. I have a tremendous amount of respect for my parents both running in college and when I was younger I never really thought about how impressive it really is.”
Fisher is now done with high school and will head to California to begin his Stanford career. He wants to go pro when his time at Stanford is over and there is no question that the ability is there.
If Fisher keeps the drive and the motivation to get better each day, we may see him one day representing the United States of America and potentially win a Gold Medal for the country.
Grant will run on June 13th in the Adidas Grand Prix for the high school boys Dream Mile.