One of the most talented youth athletes I’ve ever had the privilege of working with is Sam Runde.  Podium at the USA Junior Olympics 3000 meters in 2017.  Frosh XC record at Burke in his very first (and only) tour of the turf.  Sub 10:00 in the 3200, also as a freshman.  A promising high school career, yes?

Injuries had hold of Sam for the rest of his freshman and sophomore years, the lesson learned being that more mileage isn’t always the answer.  Still able to enjoy his second (basektball) and third (golf) sports.  Covid robbing opportunity his junior year.

But Sam, well he’s special when it comes to running.  A rare talent.

Things finally starting to come together his senior year.  A 2:00 flat 800 meters putting him just outside the state’s top 10 list.  His 4:24.37 landing 7th on the state list.  With respect to Nebraska’s best milers, Sam was on his way to winning state and a new Burke high school mile record, (Andy Vasquez, 4:16.77, 2015.)  That was his goal and I have no doubt.

Like so many others Sam enjoyed his high school prom.  And then found out two days ago that he was exposed to the virus and would have to quarantine, leaving his high school career full of what could have beens.

Linda and I are heartbroken.  For Sam.  For his family.  The silver lining?  Sam will be running for Creighton University beginning in the fall.  Close to home, close to the heart.

Sam and brother Jack at the Bar None in 2014.  Excellence In, Excellence Out!

And as a fine young man with a very bright future!