With five state track titles under her belt, Martha Sam is one of the most decorated athletes of the 2015 class. She owns the fastest 400 meters ever recorded indoors by a Montgomery County athlete (54.74) and is in the top 10 in seven other categories, not to mention the blazing relays that she has been a part of. Her emergence has led the surge of the Blake girls track program that has steadily improved over the past few years. She came within .17 seconds of a national title in the 400 at the 2015 New Balance Indoor Nationals and will look to carry that success into the 2015 outdoor season. While we still have the privilege of having such an extraordinary talent in Montgomery County, let's go a little more in-depth into the mind of Blake's Martha Sam.
MoCoRunning: Fourth at New Balance Nationals - "impressive" is an understatement. What was going through your mind in the minutes following the race? Did you exceed your expectations entering the race?
Sam: While I was at the New Balance Nationals I was praying to God that He will help me get through the race and that His name would be glorified in this race and those were mostly the thoughts going through my mind. Yes, I did do beyond all the expectations I had coming in because when I looked at the results I actually wasn't even supposed to make it to the final so I was very grateful to God for making it to the final and becoming an All-American.
MoCoRunning: 3:54.77 is the fastest indoor 4x400m ever recorded by an MCPS team, and more importantly, it is three seconds faster than your Blake team from 2014. Will Blake drop from 3:47.76 outdoors in 2014 below Northwest High School's outdoor state meet record of 3:46.22?
Sam: I don't know. Only if it is in the will of God for us to beat the record.
MoCoRunning: It's after the final meet of the year - where are you going to eat?
Sam: Buffalo Wild Wings will be one of the first places I will go to eat.
MoCoRunning: Are there any barriers you still hope to break down this year?
Sam: I personally believe that I don't really have any barriers as long as I have faith in God that He will get me through everything I'm in and he did not bring me this far to leave me.
MoCoRunning: From 55 meters to 5000 meters, you have run it all. What is your favorite race to run?
Sam: My favorite event is the 400m dash.
MoCoRunning: Your stat sheet shows you ran cross country and even ran at the state championship. What is the longest run (in either miles or minutes) you've ever done and what was it like?
Sam: Well, this is a practice run but once at practice my sophomore year my coach actually made us run 10 miles but it was pretty relaxing because I was stressed out that day and long runs seem to calm me down sometimes.
MoCoRunning: It's safe to say that most people are happy this winter is over. What's the worst weather you can remember practicing in? Would you rather run in 35 degrees or 95 degrees?
Sam: The worst thing about winter is the cold because I don't really deal with cold very well. I would any day anytime rather run in 95 degree weather.
MoCoRunning: When did you start running? Did you do any other sports before high school?
Sam: I started running my freshman year of high school and no, I did not do any sports before high school.
MoCoRunning: You have a sister at Paint Branch. Which team does your parents root for at meets with both Blake and Paint Branch?
Sam: My mom stays neutral the entire time when she is at our meets. She doesn't wear any of the school colors so she does not look like she's playing favorites. She just cheers for my sister and me when we're running.
MoCoRunning: What is the most interesting thing you have seen at practice or a meet?
Sam: The most interesting thing I've ever seen was actually this weekend when I want to Riverdale Baptist meet. There was a police relay. It was coolest thing I've ever seen.