The 6-foot-2, 145-pound senior raced to the Class 4A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:20.9. The state's returning Gatorade Player of the Year in boys cross country, Rich also broke the tape at the Great American Cross Country Festival, the Southern Showcase and the Bob Jenkins SCTCCCA Coaches Classic.
A devoted member of his church community, Rich has donated his time as a math tutor and Vacation Bible School leader, and has also volunteered assisting the homeless. "Sam is a true student of the sport," said Catawba Ridge High School coach David Helms. "He is constantly analyzing situations, courses, opponents and his own training to become the best athlete he can be. He's a true talent, but an even better human being."
Rich has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at the University of Notre Dame this fall.
Two-time winner Rich joins recent Gatorade South Carolina Boys Cross Country Players of the Year Coen Roberts (2019-20, Greer High School), Colin Baker (2018-19, Academic Magnet High School), and Wynn Johnson (2017-18, Dorman High School), among the state's list of former award winners.