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Where they are now: Tannor Wagner

By Murray Gleffe


MADISON – Tannor Wagner had a successful running career at Ashwaubenon High School.

The 2017 graduate qualified for the WIAA state meet all four years in cross country and finished sixth as a senior in a time of 15:45.

Wagner also won the state championship in the 1,600 meters by over two seconds his senior year.

When the time came to sign his National Letter of Intent, Wagner chose the Big 10 and the UW-Madison.

“I am having an amazing time in Madison,” said Wagner. “Right now, I am four semesters into my college career. Currently, I’m majoring in economics. This city has been treating me well. Whenever I am not in class, doing homework or at practice, my friends and I love to hang out at the Memorial Union to relax. There is not a thing that I don’t love about the community.”

It hasn’t all been easy for Wagner in the transition to one of the best conferences in the country.

“Two years into my collegiate career has changed me as a person on and off the track,” added Wagner. “My relationship with Cal Kromm [Ashwaubenon coach] is still good, as I talk to him frequently. Cal still helps me believe in my goals both as a student and an athlete, and I appreciate that kind of motivation. My current coaches, Mick Byrne and Gavin Kennedy, transitioned me into an overall stronger runner and student in the classroom. The difference at the collegiate level is you begin to realize the balance you need in life. Whenever you get injured, you need to stay strong mentally and physically, while taking care of business in the classroom. Another thing I learned at this level is you need to trust and believe in yourself a lot more – making your own decisions. This has been difficult, but an action I have started to take control over. Mick and Gavin allow us to take control of what we think is smart and responsible to do at that point in time. Besides training us athletes, they truly shape us into better overall people.”

This past fall, Wisconsin won the Big 10 cross country championship in Lincoln, Nebraska, for the 17th time in the last 20 years.

The Badgers finished eighth overall at the NCAA championship meet held on the UW-Madison campus.

“Personally, this year has been successful for our team,” Wagner said. “Our cross-country program won the Big Ten championship this past fall and our ace, Morgan McDonald, won Nationals. Since then, Morgan won another two titles [3 kilometers and 5k] at the indoor national championship. Ollie Hoare took third in the mile indoors. On a personal level, I have had a couple of personal bests on the track and merely missed out on the Big Ten final in the mile. Still making these gains have slowly been progressing my abilities, and I am excited to see what’s ahead.”

Sage, Tannor’s sister, recently placed second in the 1,600 at the WIAA Division 1 state meet in La Crosse.

The whole Wagner family runs and stays active in their daily lives.

“Overall, my family has been very supportive with running,” said Wagner. “When we were younger, my sister and I were just more active. I didn’t play video games too often, because I’d be playing sports which helped make me into a better athlete. However, the more I started to like running, my family was very supportive. I took a lot of control in my own fate with the sport, which I take pride in today. I think my sister is starting to recognize that, too, as she is making lots of improvements.”

Wagner knows he will have to keep working hard to improve on his success.

“The main point I want to stress is to take responsibility for your own actions,” Wagner said about competing at the top. “From experience, you aren’t going to succeed if you do not put in the work, period. If you want to excel, you need to do everything right. Whether that’s running all of your mileage, completing workouts, taking care of your body or taking a must needed day off. Everything comes full circle, and you need to be patient to see all of the hard work pay off. I like to think of the quote that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ because great things take time. Wanting to be successful and being successful are two different points, so you have to be willing to withstand the bad times in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I even have trouble following my own advice sometimes because it’s hard to see perspective at times. Just know that at the end of the day, everything is going to work out okay.”

Tannor Wagner’s highlights:

2019 Outdoor Track: Won his section of the 1,500 meters with a personal-best effort of 3:54.18 at the Stanford Invitational (3/29).

2019 Indoor Track: Took 12th overall in the mile with a time of 4:08.82 at the Big Ten Championships (2/22-23) … was the runner-up in the 800 meters with a time of 1:54.54 at the Red & White Classic (2/15) … finished 30th overall in the mile with a personal best time of 4:08.51 at the Iowa State Classic (2/8-9) … took 12th overall in the mile, crossing the line in 4:11.66 at the Indiana Relays (1/25-26) … finished 11th overall in the premier mile race with a time of 4:11.36 at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational (1/18-19).

2018 Cross Country: Placed 107th overall and fifth for UW at the Wisconsin Pre-Nationals (10/13) with an 8K time of 25:06.9 … took sixth overall and fourth for Wisconsin with an 8K time of 25:44.8 at the Badger Classic (9/14)

2018 Outdoor Track: Placed third in the 1500 meters with a personal best time of 3:55.84 at the Wisconsin Twilight meet (5/4) … helped the Wisconsin 4×1500 relay to a fifth place overall finish with a time of 15:32.54 at the National Relays (4/27) … finished sixth overall in the 1500 meters with a time of 3:57.87 at the Spec Towns Invite (4/6) … in his first collegiate outdoor season race, placed seventh in the 800 meters with a time of 1:54.77 at the California Collegiate Open (3/31).

2017 Cross Country: Finished 102nd overall and eighth for the Badgers at the Big Ten Championship (10/29) with a time of 27:17.1 (8K) … finished 83rd overall and fifth for Wisconsin at the Greater Louisville Classic (9/30) with a time of 24:58.82 (8K) … won the Wisconsin ‘Mayflower Day’ Open (9/16) with a time of 25:56.0 (8K) … finished 21st overall and third for the Badgers at the Illinois State Invite (9/8) with a time of 25:45.8 … in his UW debut, finished 33rd at the Indiana University Open (9/2) with a time of 26:26.8 (8K)

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