Senior Salute: Samual Garringer Of Hart County


5k XC-    15:55.62

3200m-  9:21.04

1600m-  4:26.35

800m-   2:07.90

What were some of the highlights of your high school cross country and track careers?

My top cross country highlight would have to be winning the region championship my senior year. It had always been a goal of mine and to finally see it happen was amazing. And my top track moment was when I finished 6th place at the state track meet my sophomore year in the 3200m. It wasn't my fastest race by a long shot but it was the race where I truly found my love of distance running.

Did you encounter any struggles or adversity along the way that you had to overcome?

I've had a pretty injury free career which I'm thankful for, but my junior year was a very tough season in both cross country and track. I had a hard time balancing the roles of being the team captain for both track and XC as well as training individually for pr's and top placements. But that year taught me a lot about leadership and setting an example so I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Aside from the competition, what was the best thing about being a part of your school's program?

Both my cross country and track coaches care so much about the sport of running and making sure that they make us better people before they make us better runners. And I know a lot of schools don't have that, so I'm beyond blessed to have that experience year round with cross country and track.

Are there any coaches or teammates that you've worked with over the past four years that you'd like to thank?

I want to thank Coach Marett and Coach Gordy (XC), Coach Ramsey and Coach Rucker (track) as well as Coach Swafford (strength coach) for always pushing me to my limits and being there right beside me for my highs and lows. They have shaped me into the person that I am today. I also want to thank an old teammate of mine, Ben Burch, for leading me my first two years in high school and for showing me that running is so much more than races and medals. It's about the love of the sport.

How are you coping with COVID-19 and the looming possibility that your HS track career might very well be over?

It's hard to imagine not having another practice or meet with my team, or not racing in the Hart County uniform again, and not having the chance to bring home a state championship. But for now I'm taking it day by day. They've closed down the tracks and cancelled a lot of the season, but they can't cancel running or my will to compete. So for now I'm continuing to train the best I can and stay focused on the big meets at the end of the year because they haven't cancelled them yet.

What are your plans and goals for the future? Do you intend on continuing with the sport in college or in another capacity?

My plan is to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. I'm not sure what kind of job I desire to have, but I do know that I want to help people in need through my job. I'm going to be running cross country and track for Clemson University. I'm not sure what path my running career will go after college but I know I want to stay involved in the running community no matter what.

What advice would you give to a younger athlete who's hoping to have a successful and enjoyable high school career?

Enjoy the process of what you're doing as well as enjoy the people that you are with. Don't get caught up in times and placements, because in the end you aren't going to remember your mile time at a specific meet 30 years from now. Enjoy every single practice and every single meet because you never know when it will be your last.