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.