Top Performer: Joe Rush

Sometimes, students athletes have plans and set goals for themselves and sometimes, somewhere down the road, those plans change.

Custer High School senior Joe Rush can certainly relate to this phenomenon.

Growing up, Rush never thought he would find success competing in cross country and track for Custer High School.

In fact, Rush focused much of his time playing a different sport, football.

“Coach (Karen) Karim talked to me and said ‘Hey you should run with our cross country team every now and then so you can get better at running,’ ” Joe Rush said. “I was like alright. I’ll run with the cross country team. But I was still dead set on doing football because I thought I was this big guy and everything.”

But three years ago, Rush made the switch to cross country and track and doesn’t regret his decision.

Now the Custer senior is running laps around his competition.

Rush has already qualified for the state track meet in the 1600, 3200 and 4 x 800 meter relay.

“But this year, I’m really working hard in the mile and two mile and our 4 x 8 relay team is looking really strong this year, as well,” Rush said. “So hopefully we can get a win in that.”

Rush’s positive attitude also goes hand-in-hand with his success.

“He’s super supportive of all the kids,” Custer distance coach Karen Karim said. “But our distance crew is very tight. They train together and suffer together and had success together over the last couple of years. They really have each other’s backs. And they know they can count on each other and they’re always their for each other. Joe’s a big part of that. He’s a leader in that.”

Rush has never won a state track title.

But he hopes to change that at the end of May.

“I’m just trying to prove who I am whether it be family, friends or anyone else,” Rush added. “I guess I could say I’m just trying to make my momma proud and also my coach. And other people that have come through Custer for running. I want to be up there with the greatest that have come out of Custer.”

“I’m just really proud of him and I’m sure glad that the football coach tossed him over to me a couple of years ago because he’s sure made a difference on our team,” Karim said.

Congratulations to Joe Rush on being named a NewsCenter1 Top Performer.

Joe Rush will continue his athletic career next year at South Dakota State University.

Categories: High School, Top Performer