Sam Wilson, South River, track and field

Q&A --

May 02, 2007|By PAT O'MALLEY | PAT O'MALLEY,Sun Reporter

Senior Sam Wilson is the pole-vaulter for South River's indoor and outdoor track and field teams. He also ran cross country for three years before sitting out this season. This past indoor season, he went undefeated and won his first state championship with a vault of 13 feet after winning the regional with the same mark. He vaulted 12 feet, 6 inches on two occasions, including his county championship victory. Named to the All-Metro indoor team, Wilson, who has been a team captain on the indoor and outdoor squads, was also named All-State by runningmaryland.com. Wilson has a 4.0 grade point-average and scored 1,750 on his SAT.

What has been your most memorable moment?

Definitely winning the state championship indoors at the Prince George's Complex after finishing second the year before. I won the county championship outdoors last year, and it would be nice to finish as a state champion.

Fans watch pole-vaulters go a couple times in a meet and may think it's easy. Is it?

No, it's not. It's very strenuous getting ready for [competition]. It took me four years to win a state title. I practice anywhere from 10 to 25 hours a week for a meet, and I lift weights two or three times a week to build up my upper body strength and do a lot of stretching. You have the mind-set for pole-vaulting.

And just what is the mind-set?

You have to be crazy.

Are you nervous before you make an attempt?

I'm definitely a little nervous, but I try to visualize myself doing well and winning.

How did you get into pole-vaulting?

My brother Nick was a pole-vaulter at South River and I just thought I would try my hand at it. His best was an 11-6.

Are you going to try it in college?

Maybe. I'm going to UMBC because of their great geography program and may try to make their team as a walk-on. The coach told me he would give me a shot.

What do you like to do when you're not pole-vaulting?

I like to skateboard and surf. I'm a pretty conservative skateboarder, but I spend nearly all summer in Ocean City surfing. Our family has a condo down the ocean, and I love to surf.

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