Salute to Seniors: Sam Shuman

When did you first start running, and do you recall any of your childhood races?
I first started running in seventh grade. The most memorable races were the ones at the course East Newton. East Newton was such a fast course and really good competition.

Was there a certain moment when you realized you'd be able to compete at such a high level?
I started realizing the summer of sophomore year. The summer of sophomore year showed me running consistently and more mileage can change your running tremendously.

What are some bumps in the road that you've encountered when it comes to training for different events during the season?
I wouldn't say bumps in the road but I would say more difficult times. It's difficult to get yourself up in the morning and simply go for a run.

How did COVID impact your training as you prepared for the season?
Covid impacted me so much. COVID showed me not to take anything for granted and feel blessed with the ability I have. Over the summer I didn't even know if I was going to get a senior season. The Covid made me realize how much love I actually have to running, to just simply go out and run.

Where are you going to college? If you have already committed, what made you choose them?
I'm attending the University of Tennessee Martin. Everything clicked the moment I went on my visit. Coaches, team, location.

Let's discuss the college searching process. What was that like, and what schools did you look at?
I enjoyed my search for college a lot. I didn't lock one college down. I branched my preferences out and found the best college that fit me.

Is there another track event you wish you were good at? What is appealing about it?
I wish I was good at the 400 m. It's such a fast paced race and great competition and is very enjoyable to watch.

What are some hobbies and interests you have outside of running?
Basketball, basketball was my first love and I've been playing since I was in 1st grade.

Who is your role model, and why?
Everyone has a bucket list, so give us some of things on your list!
One thing on my bucket list is to travel the world and run in exotic places.

What is the best advice you have received?
The best advice I ever received was for my track coach, Coach Mitchem. I received a keychain from her in the middle of track season that said "Take pride in how far you've come. Have faith and how far you can go. But don't forget to enjoy the journey."

What is your favorite pre-race snack, tradition, etc.?
My favorite tradition is the night before a race. My dad and I would go for a 4 mile. As I ran my dad would pedal on his bike beside me.

If you could do a sport other than XC/Track, what sport would it be, and why?
Basketball, I started as the varsity basketball point guard for three years of high school. I still love the game so much but fell in love with the running instead.