Sam Roth to continue running at Hawkeye CC

Sam Roth was joined by family, along with current and future coaches, when he signed his letter of intent to run track for Hawkeye CC.

Sometimes when one door closes, another one opens. That’s the case for Sam Roth, who entered Pekin High with the ambition of playing baseball but wound up a track star by the end of his junior season. Now he’s taking his talents and speed to the next level, as he committed to Hawkeye Community College on February 26.

    Roth has made the most he can of his time at Pekin, with his final season of track on the brink of the horizon. During his freshman year, Roth was hoping to focus on playing and developing his skills in baseball, but an injury sidelined him in his first season. His career was cut short due to shoulder surgery, but then he turned his sights to track.

    “Honestly, I didn’t expect myself to take track this far, or do it in college,” Roth said. “I got into track a lot after that injury, and then I just sort of took off.”

    Roth had already known Hawkeye would be an option on the table, and what really set it apart was having some former teammates run there as well. He decided to make a campus visit, and after talking to the two former Panthers and seeing the existing track team, he made his decision.

    “I’m hoping I can help out the team as much as I can,” Roth said. “Run the absolute best I can and give them everything I have.”

    This season the Panthers have moved to 2A and having already set the 4x800-meter record in 1A last season, Roth and his teammates are hoping to break another at the higher level.

    “I’ve been training since last May and over the summer to get prepared for this upcoming season,” Roth said. “Winning that race and setting that record at the State meet last year was something I’ll never forget.”

    One way that he stays in shape for track is by running cross country in the fall. Roth has been involved with cross country ever since seventh grade, which has helped him build up endurance for his mid-distance competition on the track.

    “Coach Eidahl would have us run about six or seven miles every practice,” Roth said. “That builds endurance, which really helps in the 800-meter run, and allows you to keep a quick pace.”

    Despite all the memories he’s made at Pekin, signing his letter of intent to continue the sport he loves will join the list of unforgettable moments. In addition to running track, Roth will be studying Ag Business. He plans on transferring to Iowa State to continue his education and competition after two years at Hawkeye.

    “It feels good,” Roth said on signing the letter. “It feels like I’ve accomplished something I’ve been wanting something since last year. I realized I liked it enough and wanted to run in college.”