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Sam Lewis is a 2013 St. Xavier High School graduate. He was the Class AAA XC Runner-Up in 2011 helping St. Xavier to the Class AAA team crown his junior year. In 2012, he was the #1 runner for the Tigers at Nike Cross Nationals finishing 16th overall. He also helped lead to a 2nd straight Class AAA Kentucky State XC crown.
What was your most memorable race/event?
St. X/Trinity dual sophomore year. Before the race Coach Medley told Thomas Cave, Mark Johnson, and I that whoever won between us three would get the last varsity spot for Great American. Even though Thomas beat me, I can still say that I have never felt that much pain from a cross country race in my life.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
My running has taken a weird path these past four years, so I couldn't really limit this to one person, but I can probably limit it to two people; Thomas Cave and Connor Sheryak. Thomas Cave was my biggest competition Freshman and Sophomore year while Connor Sheryak was my biggest competition late junior and senior year. I think Connor, Thomas, and I would all agree that while we all wanted each other to do well because we were good friends and teammates, we absolutely hated losing to each other.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
Getting 16th at NXN. I like running in mud.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
In track, I wish I would have cared more about racing people than hitting a certain time. I now realize that I can run much faster if I just focus on my finishing spot instead of the clock.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Missing two outdoor track seasons due to injury. It was awful and It left so many what-ifs for me. But on the contrary, the injuries were a truly humbling experience. When you get injured it really puts things in perspective. It puts your mind at a point where you don't care about insignificant things like whether or not your name gets in the paper or whether or not you get a medal. When you're injured, all you want to do is just simply be able to run again.
What will you miss the most?
The team trips to Wake-Med soccer park in North Carolina. The meet is top class and the experience is unforgettable.
What advice you would give to younger athletes?
Don't take running for granted. You like it more than you think.
What influence has your coaches had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
They introduced me to what it really means to work hard. I can't thank them enough for that. A lot of things that used to be hard to me, now seem easy in relation to running.
What are your plans for college or joining the workforce next year?
I'm going to be attending Wake Forest University.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
All my teammates, coaches, and family for supporting me throughout the years. I'd also like to add a special thanks to KYtrackXC for giving running the coverage that it deserves.