Smiley, petite, and energetic – that’s Sami Jorgensen. You may remember her from her middle school years when she swept the Awards Ceremonies, or high school where she did much of the same. But as it turns out, brains aren’t the only thing this superstar has to offer: Sami is Pawling’s first ever All-American. She received this honor (which goes to the top six candidates in the scholastic-level races at a National meet) for her performance in the 2000m steeple-chase.
Sami describes the steeple-chase as “a 5-lap race in which I have 5 barriers and 1 water pit to jump over/into per lap.” This challenging course was especially daunting for Sami, who admits that she struggled with this particular race last year at Nationals. However, her friendly competitors and encouraging coaches helped to put her at ease. A true overachiever, she notes, “Of course, the real pressure came from myself because I knew that I really wanted to perform well enough to be named All-American.” The most notable part of the race for Sami was the end, where she powered through the last lap and managed to beat out two other girls to make it into the top six.
This amazing accomplishment is really nothing out of the ordinary for Sami – she’s a pretty amazing girl herself. In the athletics department, she started field hockey in the fall and track in winter and spring when she was in seventh grade, and continued right up until her senior year. As for academics, she finished third in her class and has maintained high grades throughout her high school career.
Sami will be attending the University of North Carolina in the fall, where she will enjoy a scholarship based on her running accomplishments. She notes that it will be more crucial than ever for her to sustain a balance between school and sports. “I am so excited to be a Tarheel though,” she expresses, “and can’t wait to become a collegiate athlete.”