Senior runner finishes strong, ‘freaky’ run in sports, academics

Senior Sam Schillinger is a star cross country and track and field runner with a 4.07 GPA. He will be attending the University of Arkansas.

“I’m absolutely excited to start this new chapter of my life. I’m most excited for the new atmosphere and new opportunities that college presents,” Schillinger said.

Schillinger will be studying different practices with the Razorbacks while he is running track and and cross country.

Schillinger has had a blast in high school and sums up his years with these three words: “Unleash your freak.” You could say he has unleashed his freak on the track and in school.

Although Schillinger has been an excellent student/athlete in high school, he knows that college brings more challenges to an individual.

“I’m super excited. It’s going to be a wild ride, but I’m in it for the long haul, and I’m excited to be pushed and challenged in this new environment both academically and athletically,” he said. “Academically, I am still undecided about my potential major, but I am interested in pursuing a degree in law, forensics or pre-med, or some combination of all three. Athletically, I will be on the cross-country and track and field team for the Razorbacks. Academically, it started with parents always getting on me that my grades mattered, and that I was a student first and athlete second. That was reinforced by the effective teachers that I had at the high school, and also my studious peers that shared that same motivation to succeed in the classroom. Athletically, what started with my dad being passionate about my running translated into my coaches — Becker, Hartman and Homewood — pushing me to compete at the highest level as much as they could. Woo Pig,” Schillinger said.

The best support for him is his family. The never let him down, and they push him to be more successful.

“My parents and sisters have supported me enormously, and that has been a huge help throughout my high school career. I can’t say enough about the support I have received from my family,” he said. “Through this whole process, they have been there for me whenever I needed it. They have listened, talked through things with me, gave advice and just let me vent to them. My family has counseled me through this big decision and helped me make the best decision. They have helped me feel confident about the choices I have made.”

Schillinger said high school can be a great experience or a bad experience. It just depends on which attitude you choose to have. Schillinger was very involved, not just with clubs or sports, but people he would see around.

“My favorite part about high school has been meeting people and forming relationships with people that are different than me on many levels. The wide range of interesting people that I have met has been so fun and inspiring and I will never forget those relationships,” Schillinger said.

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