It's been a quiet winter for Sam Wharton, but the reigning NXN champion is back for the Brooks PR Invitational. We catch up with the Stanford-bound senior before he heads off to the Dempsey.



1) This winter, have you been doing more running or swimming (more or less, how's your training been going)?

 I did swim this winter, more of an aggressive flounder than anything, but I had a good time and stayed off my feet, while maintaining some amount of cardio.  I ran about 30 miles a week while swimming was in season for me (my season was over after leagues two weekends ago).  I had never run before in the winter, so this was a change for me.  I ran with a few other guys on the team, doing very basic base mileage.  This week, I kicked my mileage up to 50, and fit a tempo run in, so it should hopefully benefit me. 

2) You were thinking about running either Brooks PR or a meet at the SPIRE Institute, but you ultimately decided to run both. Let's talk about that two-mile a few weeks at the SPIRE HS Showcase. How'd you treat that race?

Yes, I really wanted to get a tune-up meet in before the Brooks meet.  The SPIRE is an absolutely stunning facility with a quick track.  I finished 13th with a 9:41, getting beat by a lot of my close competitors.  My main issue was that I went out with the leaders, who I was expecting to run close to 9:20, as I felt that I could run about that time at that moment.  I went out in 4:36, and then faded hard, while the winners ended up going 9:05 and Nick Elswick was the first Ohioan in 9:06.  I was disappointed with my race, but I have put in a good few weeks of training since then, and I still feel confident that I can race much better than that.

3) What do you expect out of Brooks PR (race or weekend-wise)?

I think its going to be an awesome weekend no matter what.  A lot of my friends from Footlocker and Nike will be there and I look forward to seeing all of them.  Race-wise, it is going to be quick. For all of the events, the fields are absolutely incredible, but I think even more so in the 3200.  It's going to be a quick race and based on my current fitness, I'll just be looking to run a respectable race and be competitive at the very least.

4) What was the first thought that went through your mind when you received the golden ticket in the mail?

I received it at my school right after my semester exams were over, so it was like a little present for conquering exams.  I was pretty excited because that had been one of my goals coming into this year.

And it is hands-down the coolest way to be invited to a meet.


You don't see too many of those nowadays. Also, who's holding the golden ticket?
Courtesy: Milesplit and Wharton

5) What's your tentative race schedule for this spring?

Most of my season will be a lot of miles, 800s, and 4X4s to work on my speed.  I'll be competing in the Arcadia Invitational to really start off my season in the 3200, hoping to go well sub-9, then the next big meet will be Eastern Relays in Louisville, where we have assembled a pretty crazy field to race against.  After that, it will be pretty low key until the run-up to State.  I'll also probably run the New Balance Outdoor Nationals meet.

6) Looking even further ahead to next fall, why did you choose Stanford University?

I chose Stanford University because I wanted to explore the country while I still can and Palo Alto is an amazing city with tons of exciting opportunities.  The team and Coach Milt really made me feel like I was a good fit and could be a key contributor in the years to come.  The education I will receive is second to none, and I think that as a whole package, Stanford is the best university in the country.

7) Describe your running in three words, go.

Hunchback of Notre-Dame (not sure if the hyphen counts, but I catch a lot of flak from my teammates for my posture while running).

8) Would you rather run all of your mileage on an indoor track or never be able to wear your headband again?

Oh man, you are killing me.  This is tough.  I'm not as high of mileage as some of these guys but I still think running 70ish miles on an indoor track would be a little boring, and probably unhealthy.  Although, I would avoid potholes, bad weather, and if it was a nice 300m track, I might be able to survive.  I'm not sure if I could without my headband.