Student Spotlight: A Quick Chat with Cross Country’s Star Runner, Sam Bass

Sam Bass (second from right)

You are not part of the Casady community if you’ve neither seen nor heard about Sam Bass’s (‘20) running feats. Sam has made himself known for running, which he spends a good part of his daily life thinking about and doing. It’s for a reason: Sam has broken school records with his PRs (personal record) of 15:53 in the 5k (3.1 miles) and 9:39 in the two mile. With North Zone and SPC on the horizon, I spoke to Sam about his aspirations and goals for the end of this cross country season and beyond.

Q: How do you stay motivated to keep running and pushing yourself?

A: My main motivation is probably knowing that my ceiling is really [high], pretty much. Like I have a lot of potential in the sport, and I haven’t reached it yet, so I know if I keep working at it and keep pushing myself I can get closer and closer to achieving that.

Q: When did you start to run and why did you keep doing it?

A: I started in seventh grade and it was pretty rough in middle school; I kind of hated it. My parents forced me to do it and then I kind of fell in love with it freshman year. I had a really good race at Chile Pepper [Festival] and I kind of realized “oh maybe I have some potential in this sport,” so I kept at it, and I kept improving, and I started enjoying it a lot.

Q: What are your plans for SPC this year?

A: This year I want to just complete well; I want to place as high as I can. I know it’s going to be competitive so I can’t say I’m going to be able to win, but my goal is always to win so, I guess to win but I want to compete well. And then next year, I definitely want to try to win, especially going out as a senior. That would be pretty nice.

Q: And what about track this year?

A: I just want to take a lot of time off my PRs and then also just compete well and try to finish as hard as I can in the races that I run.

Q: Do you want to run in college and if so, where do you want to go?

A: I definitely want to. I’ve been talking to a couple schools. I’ve reached out to UVA (University of Virginia), and talked to the coach there. I talked to the coach at Princeton, and I also plan to reach out to UCLA, Stanford, [and] Georgetown. I think that’s it.

Q: What are some of your other hobbies?

A: When I’m not running, I’m normally reading or watching something about running. But outside of that, I like to be outside. I like to play golf; it’s kind of funny. I like to fish, hike, do anything in the outdoors, hanging out with my friends, family–kind of that usual stuff.

Q: What advice do you have for beginners or runners/athletes looking to improve?

A: I would definitely say just be consistent. The main thing in running is consistency. So if you’re a beginner and you can put out some consistent training, you’re definitely going to see yourself improving a lot. And just give yourself a chance, you might not see a vast improvement at first, but if you just keep on working on it, you’re going to start seeing a lot of improvement.

Q: What do you do with all your plaques and medals?

A: I have this really big hook on my room, and I just have a big bundle of them on the hook. And then my plaques, I have a couple on the walls in my room. Some of the other ones I have just sitting in my closet.

Q: What lessons have you learned from running?

A: Oof, probably just kind of [the] cliche of hard work pays off. I mean I’ve definitely seen that I’ve put in countless hours and miles of training and it’s starting to pay off for me, so that’s one thing that also maybe just [is a] life lesson of dedication and commitment. If you commit to something, go all in and you’ll see big improvements, and it’ll help you in the long run in life.