AG Kruger, a Sheldon, Iowa native and former Morningside All American, has qualified for his 3rd US Olympic Team in the Hammer Throw. Kruger was the 3A runner-up in the discus at the 1997 state meet with a best throw of 155-5.
While at Morningside, Kruger was a hammer, weight throw and discus thower as well as the starting tight end for the Mustangs football team. He was a five-time NCAA Division II All American in the throws. As a senior, Kruger was the 2001 NCAA D-2 National Champion in the hammer and was named the D-2 Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Kruger was a four-time North Central Conference champion as well, in the throws.
Over the past decade, Kruger has become one of the best throwers in the country. Backing that up are his four consecutive USA Outdoor titles in the hammer throw, six USA Indoor crowns in the weight throw and two trips to the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008, and his third trip coming up soon. Kruger’s coach, Jud Logan, knows a thing or two about success, as he is a four-time Olympian and the head of the Ashland Elite Club. In the fall of 2007, he married his wife Laura and they had their first child, Alfred George Kruger IV in August 2011.
As a husband, father, a coach, and a professional athlete, AG Kruger is a very busy man. He recently found time to take part in an exclusive Question and Answer session with The Next Level Iowa, and we are proud to be able to share that with you.
AG Kruger, July 2012
1. How does a young man, from small town, Sheldon, Iowa, then, Morningside College become a three time US Olympian?
Well, at first I was told my junior year of college that I needed a second event, I was a discus thrower and my coach said hammer or shot, and I chose hammer. But, the biggest thing I would say is your dedication to something and also to be able to push yourself when no one is looking. Being a Strength and Conditioning coach this is very evident because my exceptional athletes are the ones that come in in great shape and work when I am not with them. That has always been my big thing.
2. How/why did you get involved with the Hammer Throw?
Well, I kind of explained it above, but for my junior year I had football in the fall and track in the spring, which is when I started concentrating on the hammer, then my senior year was the same thing, but in the spring I did not have to do all of the other football stuff, winter lifting, morning conditioning, and passing. I was able to concentrate and found good success. Then when I was done with my eligibility, I thought I would try the hammer because it had kept on going further and I do not have people hitting me when I do it.
3. What do you think Jud Logan, a 4 time Olympian himself saw in you, that would make him think you could become a US Champion and Olympian?
Really, the first time I heard him talk about it was when I was in college. I competed against him and his athletes, and he saw my progressions. Talking with my coaches he saw that I was trained but not with high intensity. He could see a greater upside. The day he asked me to come train at Ashland was probably one of my most exciting days of my life. Even though he said he had no place for me to live, no food for me, or no job for me, I knew this was the place I needed to be.
4. Do you ever get back to Sheldon? Do you still have family there?
I usually get back to Sheldon about 1 to 2 times a year. I am the only full time Strength and Conditioning Coach at Ashland University in Ohio, with over 500 student athletes, so time can be a little tight. But I do like to get back there and visit my Mom and Dad, and now my sister has just moved back in to town. It is a great place and I still get excited to go back. Also, it is very helpful that Northwestern College in Orange City just built a new hammer facility a few years back and Coach DeJong is happy for me to come and train there.
5. Without having the Hammer as a high school event in Iowa, how cool is it to you to have 2 top US throwers from Iowa (yourself and Michael Mai)?
It is awesome; the great thing this shows is that, with hard work and dedication you can achieve great things. Hammer is something you get better with the longer you throw it, so I do not think this is the end for both of us and we have a lot of good years ahead of us.
6. Being a 1 time Olympian takes a great deal of dedication and sacrifice. This is your 3rd team. What are some of the sacrifices you have had to make along the way?
Well, with have a full time job, what it really means, is no down time! There is no time for me to play video games, sit around and just watch TV for a day. It is all go no quit. What is nice is since I have really been training for the past 11 years; I have put in a lot of the volume and can really work on more of quality of throws and not so much the volume of throws. Like this year I really did not start training until November. In the past I have started in September. Also I did not put in as many of throws. That is why it took a while to throw my best this year; because that was how we were setting it up, with hopefully a further throw coming up in a less than a month!
7. Do you see yourself making the commitment for 2016?
Like I said, I will have to see how this year goes but I believe I will still be training in 2016. As the years go on I seem to keep on figuring out little more things to make the ball go further and I still think I have more.
AG’s personal website is: www.gokruger.com, for fundraising for my family and updates.
Making the medal stand in London would be the ultimate for an Olympian, but please know that all Iowans are so proud of what you have accomplished in your career and your drive to achieve more!
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your thoughts and feelings on our website.
Best of luck AG!
Mike Jay and Jim Kirby