Spotlight Athlete - Sami Staples

Crystal Lake Central freshman Sami Staples is making big waves across Illinois in her first high school season. Staples won the Illinois Cross Country State Championship then the 1500 and 3000 meter runs at USATF Nationals. See how she got started in the sport, what typical training week is like, her goals for the outdoor season, and much more.

How did you get started in track and cross country?

I was playing travel soccer and my older sister Haley had just started running with a club. I wanted to try it out so I went with her to practice and I decided I really like running.

What's a typical training week like for you ?

A typical training week for me is anywhere up to 45 miles and since it's track season I add in some extra speed work.

How do you train and be successful, but also avoid burning out because you are so young?

I've learned that it's really important to listen to your body and get the right amount of rest. Although running is really important to me it's only a part of me and if you let it get bigger than that it can ruin the sport.  Once the sport isn't fun your desire and passion for it dies.

You won the Illinois Cross Country State Championship then the 1500 and 3000 at USATF Nationals this year. When did you know you could be something special?

I've been very blessed to have some great races and I will continue to work hard to be successful in the future. There are so many great competitors in Illinois and anyone can be special on any given day.

What were those experiences like for you and how did running against top notch competition boost your confidence?

Those experiences were things I will never forget, and my favorite part of running is racing against such fast competitors. It's helped my confidence to know that I can run with some of the best girls in the state and be competitive, I love racing with them.

How would you sum up your freshman year so far and what are your goals for outdoor?

My freshmen year has been amazing. I'm loving high school and all the new opportunities it provides. Winning cross-country was a dream of mine for a long time and it has only driven me to want more success. This outdoor season my goals are to break 11 in the 2 mile and break 5 in the mile. I know that if I keep working hard I can reach all my goals and more.

Personal Bests

  • 1500 Meter Run4:48.02

  • 3000 Meter Run10:14.70

  • Three Mile Run17:07.00

  • 5000 Meter Run18:30.16

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