Road to State: Sam Rich Talks Goals, Postseason

How did you get involved in the sport?
When I was five, the community I grew up in held two 5K races each year. I begged my dad to run in one of them, and I have enjoyed running ever since. I started officially running competitively in sixth grade.

When did you move to South Carolina and was there a specific reason?
I moved to South Carolina from Augusta, Georgia in July. My father is a Presbyterian minister and we moved to Fort Mill when he was called to be the pastor of a church here.

How is the transition?
It has been a really good transition with my teammates and coaches welcoming me and making me feel a part of the team. Moving in the middle of high school, much less in the middle of a pandemic, is not the easiest thing, but my coaches have been really great and my teammates have quickly become my friends.

How have you looked at the season so far?
I feel like I have had a really good season so far, I have been healthy, and I feel really good about my training. I have been fortunate these last few weeks to run against some really strong competition and I met my goal of trying to run sub-15.

State rankings

After the sub-15 in Georgia, what else do you want to achieve?
Breaking 15 was definitely one of my main goals, but now my focus is on winning the 4A State Championship.

Do you have a specific motivation for this season?
I am happy to have the chance to be running during these uncertain times. I have been focused on achieving my goals for the season, getting to know my new teammates, and helping my team be the best we can be.

Where Does Sam Rich's 14:55 5K Rank?

How are you looking at the rest of the season?
We are getting ready to begin championship season as we have county, region and state all in the next few weeks. I am really focused on helping my team and doing well in these meets.

What's training going to be like leading up to state?
I am lucky to have the support of great coaches who have developed a great training plan for the season. We are starting the peaking phase of our training and I am really excited to see what I can do.

What has your mileage and workouts been like this season?
This summer, I worked on building a strong base of mileage. As the season started we began adding more speedwork. I also have found it helpful to continue my strength training workouts at the gym.

Any postseason plans?
With Foot Locker Nationals and team nationals being canceled, I am looking into a couple of regional and national meets that are popping up, but as of right now I do not have any definite plans for after State.

Any goals for outdoor?
I am looking forward to having a strong outdoor season as well. I want to break nine minutes in the 3200m and get a strong 1600m time. I would also like to qualify for New Balance Nationals.

What are your goals for after high school?
I would like to run cross country and track at a Division 1 school. Right now, I am interested in majoring in communications or journalism.

How do you prepare for a race on race day?
Four hours before my race, I eat a turkey sandwich from Subway. As the race draws closer, I have a playlist with songs that get me excited and in the right mindset for racing. My coaches help me determine a good race plan earlier on in the week, so I trust and focus on the plan before the race.

What hobbies do you have outside of running?
I enjoy watching sports, hanging out with my friends, watching Netflix, and playing basketball with friends.