Salute to Seniors - Sam Pavlovich - Sam Houston High School

<p> It was a great 2012-2013 in both cross country and track across the Bayou State. Many of our seniors will soon be on their way to start their college careers both athletically and academically so we wanted to salute them one more time in this special feature.</p>


What was your most memorable race? 
The outdoor state meet my freshman year will always be a great memory for me. (800, 1600, 3200) Two runner-ups behind Kaitlyn Flattman and a 4th. There's nothing like your first big meet experience.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
Other than myself, I'd have to say locally Ashley Pfantz (DeRidder) always pushed me my freshman year in cross country. Statewide my junior and senior year Allison Ringle (Parkway) during indoor and outdoor.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
3200 indoor state championship my junior year. I'm also proud that I always peaked at the right time and PRed at state meets. Personal gains will always be the greatest accomplishments to me. 
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
Other than avoiding untimely injuries the past two years, if given the opportunity I would probably work a little bit harder and tweak a few things about my training. I hold a lot more knowledge about the sport now than I did my freshman and sophomore year.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Midway through my junior year outdoor season, I severely sprained my ankle and was able to still make it to state in 1600 and 3200, although the lack of ensuing speed work had me finishing not as well as I would have without the injury.
Senior year I learned in mid-March I had an iron deficiency. Was still able to make it to state and PR in the 3200 despite losing a ton of prime-time training.
The other difficult obstacle all four years was that CC and track are not taken too seriously by most in this area of the state in general.
What will you miss the most? 
Besides some of my hard-working teammates, I'd have to say the feeling of satisfaction when our girls team won all seven local meets and the district title in our first year in 5A my junior year. We dedicated our 3-5A district title to Mercedez-Rios Garcia, our friend and fellow runner from nearby Iowa HS who we lost to a car accident the week before the meet. 
What advice you would give to younger athletes?
Always work hard, even if others doubt you. Hard work always pays off. 
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
Well, my primary coach was my dad so you can be sure he has given me tremendous amounts of wisdom in both areas. 
What are your college plans?
Run cross country and track at the University of New Orleans while pursuing a degree in Biology (Pre-Dental). I'm excited to start a new chapter in my life.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I'd like to say thank you to my parents. From sixth grade to present they have done so much for me and have been so involved. I'd also like to say thank you to any athlete I've practiced with, competed with, and knows the work it takes. I'd also like to thank Kenny Pierce and Johnny Giordano for their valuable workout tips, advice and guidance over the past few years that helped make me a student of the sport. I'd also like to say thank you to everyone else who has ever supported me. 
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I love running because it has taught me the value of hard work and the simple essentials to live a good life. Just like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. In life, there is no cutting corners and there's no reason to be mediocre or just average. I've learned to always push myself whether it's in the classroom or on the track.