London Olympics Hometown Heroes: Andrew Wheating
Vermont's own Andrew Wheating has as much personality as he does skill on the track -- tons of it! And this runner is making a name for himself in London.
Six-foot-five runner Andrew Wheating is a stand out on the track.
“I’m big, I’m light, I kind of float along track. And when it comes to turn over, I can eat up ground faster ‘cause I have a bigger stride. That’s the way I like to look at it,” Wheating said.
And his speed has earned him a spot in the Olympic 1500 meter race.
The 24-year-old made it to the Olympics four years ago, competing in the men's 800 meter.
Unfortunately, he didn't qualify in Beijing, but this year, he says, it's going to be a different story.
“To win the 1500 at the Olympics would be pretty pretty huge for an American,” said Wheating.
Andrew went to college in Oregon and lives there now, but says he will always call Norwich, Vermont home.
“I don’t care where I’m living, Vermont will always be the first place I consider home. I love it there because everyone is so polite,” Wheating said.
And he loves his Bay State sports.
It was in high school in New Hampshire that Andrew traded his soccer cleats for running shoes.
“Went from running, doing soccer we had to run a timed mile to make the varsity team and I ran five flat my junior year,” Wheating said. “It kinda raised a few eyebrows around the local coaching guys, they go you should try cross country. So I went and did cross country, and it just kind of came naturally, won all the races.”
And he hasn't slowed down yet -- and doesn't plan to until after London.
“You can kind of feel out how the race is gonna go on the first 250 meters. For me, I tend to be more of a quieter racer, I surge to the finish. I choose my moment between 400 and 200 meters to go, you can kind of gauge it on who is in the race and how fast they can close,” said Wheating. “I’m pretty deadly in the last 200. So I try and pick my move with 200 to go, and be where I need to be with 200 left.”
Andrew has a huge cheering section in London, many of his family members made the trip over.