Goshen’s Sami Glass Finds Her Stride at Yale. Feature by John Torsiello.
By, JOHN TORSIELLO
Goshen’s Sami Glass is finding her stride as a member of the Yale University women’s cross-country team.
Glass recently finished second for her team at the Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, In., held at the LaVern Gibson Cross-Country Course, the site of the NCAA Northeast Regional Meet as well as the National Championships.
The LaVern Gibson Cross-Country course is one of the few courses in the country built specifically for the sport.
Glass, a freshman and graduate of Lakeville’s Hotchkiss School, posted a time of 21:57.5 for the 6-kilometer course to finish a little over 43 seconds behind Yale’s number one runner, Kira Garry. The Bulldogs placed 16th out of 43 teams in the event and Glass was 88th of 293 runners.
Earlier this season, Glass was fourth on her team at the Paul Short Collegiate International Women’s Gold Race at Lehigh University in Lehigh, Pa. Glass has somewhat surprised herself by emerging as one of Yale’s top runners.
“Going into the season, I was not expecting to be in the position that I am currently. Nevertheless, I truly appreciate how within the team there is complete enthusiasm and support and we direct all our competitive juices toward the races. Honestly, everyone gives their very best and thus we each play a fundamental role in the success of the team.”
Glass enjoyed a standout athletic career at Hotchkiss. She was a two-time Founder's League champion in 2012 and 2013, All-Founder's League from 2009 to 2013, All-New England in 2012 and 2013, All-Northeast Regionals Footlocker, and competed in Junior Olympic Nationals in Nevada and Alabama. In track and field, she was All-Founder's League and All-New England from 2010 to 2014, and competed in the Junior Olympic Nationals in Kansas. She graduated cum laude.
Her fondest memories of Hotchkiss were going on long runs with the "LSD Crew." She says, “It sounds hard-core but it really just means Long Slow Distance, during which the guys accepted me as one of the pack and we would sing and go on exploratory runs through the woods that always ended up in us getting lost. My most wonderful memory is standing at the top of the Twin Oaks field, before the storm blew them down, and looking out over the winter landscape. It's truly breathtaking there.”
She still keeps in touch with her Hotchkiss teammates, saying, “I refuse to lose contact with my fellow runners from Hotchkiss for I'm a huge advocate for the team’s success. I am frequently in contact with Sam Pastore, Marco Quaroni, Jack Humphries, James Post, and Rebecca Silva.”
Glass began running in the seventh grade in order to cross train for soccer. “I had a rough start, and remember how I just about collapsed after my first two-mile race. Nevertheless, I would not have keep pursuing this sport if it had not been from several of the coaches at St. John’s in Watertown. They kept pushing me to build up my strength and potential.”
Unlike most high school students, Glass didn’t have to debate over where she would go to college, she made her mind up early, very early actually.
“I decided to attend Yale when I was in third grade. Ever since then I have been trying to absorb every minute of my time here. My decision was based on establishing a multifaceted identity. I wanted to be able to pursue interests with like-minded people and create powerful connections that would last me my entire life. Entering my junior year at Hotchkiss, I began to strongly consider attending West Point. My decision came down between these two incredible institutions, and at last I based a large portion of my choice on the fact that my sister is a junior here at Yale and I would be able to have her nearby as my closest confidant and advocate.”
Glass says adjusting to college life has not been too challenging for her, pointing to her schooling at Hotchkiss as a main reason the transition has been smooth.
“I am genuinely grateful to Hotchkiss for preparing me for such an intense learning environment and establishing fundamental skills in time management. Being on the cross-country and track team has helped me form wonderful friendships and speed up the process of adjusting. Although I am still figuring out an efficient routine, all has been going wonderfully.” She adds,
“However, running in college is a huge commitment. My weekly mileage has shot up, and the hours I spend working out have astronomically increased. But with such a large group of positive girls even the hardest practices can fly by.”
During the season, Glass’ training consists of alternating workout days, in which the team spends time on pacing and leg speed, and long run days. “We also lift, which I was fortunately prepared for by my coach at Hotchkiss.”
She points to her first cross-country meet at Yale as her most exciting moment to date at the Division I college ranks.
“The first meet was held on the Yale Golf Course. Not only had I never raced with such elite women runners, but also I completely surprised myself while racing towards the finish. Due to my increased mileage during training, I had worried that I would lose my kick at the end of the race. Out of the blue I saw a Princeton girl trying to edge ahead of me on the final stretch, and I just bolted passed her to the end. It was truly exhilarating.”
Glass does not have to declare a major until the end of her sophomore year, but is interested in pursuing global affairs. ”When I graduate, I hope to move to Paris. I don't know what I will do there, but I know that I will be happy.”
She says her goals for her college career are to “remain healthy in order to continuously contribute to the success of the team, all the while maintaining a focused attitude. I never want running to become a job for me. I hope to always derive a sense of accomplishment from each race.”
Thus far, Sami Glass is meeting and exceeding her goals.