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Spooney gives new meaning to ‘track and field’ athlete

The running back scored 18 of Bruno’s 45 points against Georgetown this past weekend

At the end of last season, the football team faced the challenge of replacing their top three running backs, all of whom graduated. But two quarters into the 2013 season opener, the solution struck like a lighting bolt. John Spooney ’14 established himself as one the Bear’s biggest assets Saturday in the team’s 45-7 thumping of Georgetown University. The speedster ran for 102 yards, scored two touchdowns and caught a touchdown — all in the first half. Spooney was off the gridiron last season to focus on his track career, where he is a three-time Ivy League 100-meter dash champion and holds the all-time school records for the 100 and 200 meter dashes. After finishing with football, Spooney will begin his final campaign on the track.

For his explosive performance against the Hoyas, The Herald has named Spooney Athlete of the Week.

Herald: A two-sport, Division I athlete is super rare. What is it like balancing it all?

Spooney: At times it’s pretty tough balancing the two sports and also having academics. It takes a lot of time management and a lot of discipline to not engage in other activities that takes away from academics because athletics are already taking up so much time.


How did you choose Brown?

I was choosing between Brown and Columbia, and Brown was the school that allowed me to do both track and football.


What made you come back to football this year after taking last season off?

I missed it. I missed the guys, I missed football itself. It is fun, and while running track is fun, it sometimes gets a little redundant.


Which is harder: winning the 100-meter dash or running for 100 yards in a game?

Those both are pretty tough. I would say football is a little more mentally taxing. … It’s tougher because so many things have to come together for a 100-yard game. It’s not just me. It’s the linemen blocking, the receivers blocking and me running well. It all has to come together.


Do you get more nervous before a track meet or before a football game?

I get more nervous before a football game. I don’t know why that is. Even though track is just you, so it would make sense to get more nervous for that, but football just gets me really nervous.


How do you celebrate a win?

I don’t know. Just run around and yell, I guess.


Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?

Not typically. I just listen to music.


What kind of music?

Rap music, mostly.


Do you know what you want to do next year?

I want to go to medical school at some point. I’m going to try to go to a post-baccalaureate program and then apply to medical school from there.

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