Sam Whelan signs with OBU |

Sam Whelan signs with OBU

Grand Valley Watch
Sami Jo Krieg
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Sami Jo Krieg

Pulse pounding and heart beating out of your chest, you can’t stop. You try to catch your breath. Surging up the hill, it feels like all the muscles in your legs are breaking. Needless to say, running hard is a challenge. Not only do you challenge people running around you, but you also challenge yourself. How far and fast will you go? Keep running. One of the people who knows this all too well is fellow Cardinal Sam Whelan.

Freshman year, Sam was this skinny little kid who you never saw at school but was the first to track practice. He was little but he ran hard. He didn’t really talk much so it wasn’t until sophomore year that I really got to know Sam.

His mom, Coach Kim Whelan, was the new coach that year and she made all of the distance kids step up. We were running farther and faster than we ever had.

The next year, Sam was determined to make his first run at state. He trained hard. Outrunning nearly everyone every day, Sam was making huge improvements. He even broke some of his goals such as running a mile under five minutes. He did make his first trip to a state competition in two events: two mile and the 4X800-meter relay.

Then this summer rolled around. Sam grew at least a foot, but his determination grew just as much. He trained every day running hills around his home in Rulison, and to and from irrigating jobs. People would drive by and wave at this crazy kid running in the hot, summer sun. He even ran with one of his friends and former teammates, Austin Germiller, to Rifle one day.

Cross country season was a huge success for Whelan. Reaching his goals of a run at state, Sam placed 14th.

All of his hard work is definitely paying off. Sam recently committed to Oklahoma Baptist University. When his family took his older sister down to OBU last fall, Sam visited with the cross country and track coaches. It wasn’t until after cross country season that he received a contract.

The exciting offer came with an annual $4,000 scholarship. Sam will start this next step in his career during the Fall 2010 semester. He plans on becoming a firefighter, something he is very passionate about.

“I am really excited to run in college and be recognized for this scholarship. I am excited to see how much better I’ll get as a runner.

“I’d like to thank my mom for coaching me and for her good training. I would like to also thank God for the privilege of having the ability to run and my teammates like Austin and Brandi [Krieg] that have pushed me to get faster,” said Whelan.

Whelan has worked really hard. Grand Valley High School, his family and the community are very proud of his achievements. Congratulations and keep running, Sam!

Sami Jo Krieg is a Grand Valley High School student.

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