CORTLAND, N.Y. - This week's State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Q&A is with the Men's Track Athlete of the Week Rich Samuels (Wallkill, NY).
Cortland's Samuels finished 11th out of 124 competitors, and was the top Division III finisher, in the 800-meter run at the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic. His time of 1:52.89 currently ranks fourth nationally in Division III and is first in the All-Atlantic Region Track and Field Conference.
Sport: Men's Track & Field
1. If you had to choose another sport to play in college what would it be and why?
I'd probably join the Ultimate Frisbee club team. I played very frequently after practices or during breaks with my teammates in high school. Loved every second of it.
2. What's your favorite pro sports team and why?
Well I have two favorite NFL teams (very unpopular opinion) which are the Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers. A few years ago I really got into watching football and those two were the only teams I really enjoyed watching. So many exciting playmakers.
3. Do you have a hidden talent, if so what is it?
I can play various instruments like the drums and piano.
4. If you could have one song play every time you score/get a hit/win a race what would it be?
The Final Countdown by Europe. My senior year of highschool during what I believe was my breakthrough race as a runner to qualify me for the state championship, the song was playing from the pressbox. Although I couldn't hear any of it while racing, my sprints and jumps coach took a nice video and it's fun to watch.
5. What's your favorite professional sports memory?
Without a doubt has to be when the Denver Broncos won SB 50 simply because I called it many many weeks prior.
6. What's your favorite sports movie?
4 Minute Mile
7. Do you have any pre/in game rituals? What are they?
Prior to the meet/race I pray and it's always the same prayer, asking God to bring the best out of me, my teammates, and my competitors as well as protection from injuries. It's just the way my mother raised me, to be praying in all aspects of life especially something I'm so passionate about. You'll most likely catch me in the middle of the infield on the day of a meet praying that same prayer.
8. If you were stranded on an island, who would you want to be there with you, and why?
Any famous survivalist you can search up on google. They would clearly know what they're doing I hope.
9. Who inspired you to play your sport?
My elementary school physical educator who was also my middle school coach and high school coach during the winter. One of the funniest people I've ever met. He's been a very big influence on my life on and off the track. Just like he did in his past, I am also going to Cortland to study Physical Education to hopefully one day influence a person's life the way he's influenced mine. Very thankful to him for putting me on the right path.
10. What is your spirit animal?
My spirit animal has got to be that meme of the laughing seagull (if you know, you know). I think of myself as a genuinely happy person with a contagious laugh much like that seagull.