If you have ever driven through Richland weekdays at around 3:00 p.m., you probably have seen members of the Gull Lake track and cross country teams traversing the snow covered town on foot. Runners brave frigid conditions and icy roads to keep in shape for the spring track season. However, out of all the athletes, few run faster or train harder than sophomore Sam Butler.
This young man starred on the cross country team in the fall, going to state with the varsity team as a top athlete. He booked a 16:40 5k time, a 10:28 two mile and a 4:46 mile, all respectable times by any standard. Butlers aid he hopes his winter training regimen will make him even better come spring.
“When you’re out running in ten degree weather, you just have to remind yourself it makes you tougher for game day,” Butler said.
The track team lost many of its top athletes from last season, including the record setting Tim Simon and Kyle Garner. This loss provides opportunities for younger athletes to follow in the footsteps of their upperclassmen. Butler said he hope to transition into the role of a constant difference maker this season.
His training methods support his goals. “I’ve been just slowly working on upping the mileage, ever since the end of November, just doing what I can to fight off the winter and run when I can,”Butler said.
With spring drawing ever closer,Butler’s work only gets harder. He plans to compete in local indoor track meets and hopes to earn his way to the state-wide competition. As Gull Lake makes its track debut in the SMAC, Sam Butler’s performance may be key.