Sam Moerbitz Shares About Himself

Photo provided by Sam Moerbitz

Sam Moerbitz at Lakeville South class of 2018

Personal Records:

800m - 2:04 (split)
1600m - 4:26.23
3200m - 9:51.61
5K (xc) - 16:24.20
2016 State XC - 77th place
2015  State XC - 85th place
2017  State T&F - 1600m 15th 
2016  State T&F - 1600m 12th 
2015 State T&F - 4x800m 16th 

When you were very young what sports did you play?  Why did you turn to distance running?  Do you play any other sports besides cc and track & field?  How about on the varsity level?

When I was younger I used to play soccer a lot. I was on both the school and club teams for soccer and I was actually a captain of the club team until I stopped soccer for distance running in 9th grade. After that, distance running was about the only sport I played competitively.

Who coaches you directly for cross country and for distance running in the spring?

For cross country I'm coached by my chemistry teacher Jason Just. He is a sprint coach who really likes to work speed training into our workouts. I think this really helps with our kicks. My track distance coach is named Milan Mader. He was an Olympian for Czechoslovakia so he definitely knows how to run. I'm not exactly sure how he comes up with his workouts but he always tells us stories about crazy workouts he did while training for the Olympics (Like 40 x 400s) before he tells us our workout so we basically can't complain at all.

What did you do to get ready for cross country this year?  Give us some workouts, miles per week, paces, races, cross training, etc.

To get ready for cross I ran all summer. During the summertime, we just focus on getting miles. By the end of summer we were probably getting around 50 miles per week. During the season we still make sure we get a bunch of miles. Common workouts for us include mile repeats, hill repeats, and timed tempo runs.

Have you had any obstacles in your career as member of the Lakeville South Cougars?

Right before CC started on my junior year I did have some troubles with my knee and hip. I struggled through that season but I was able to get back to where I was sophomore year. Also, on the first track meet of the year, I pulled my hip in an 800 and that put me out of commission for almost half of the season. It's been really hard for me because before junior year running was pretty much the most important thing in my life. It was pretty hard to not beat my sophomore self but it has also helped me to appreciate other parts of the sport more. This would include the social aspect and the stress relieving aspect.

What is the hardest workout you have ever done under the supervision of a coach?

The hardest workout I've ever done was during track. We did 6 sets of 1000m repeats on the track at our 3200m race pace with a 200 jog between each. I had to do the repeats without anyone who could run at the same pace and that made it considerably worse.

Photo provided by Sam Moerbitz                                            

Which teammate has inspired you the most?  

I had a teammate named Josh Willard who graduated in 2017. He was really motivating mostly because of his work ethic and determination. Josh would always give everything that he had into workouts and races as well as being really fun to hang out with. His effort always made me want to give more into my races and workouts.

Who are your most difficult opponents?  

There was one specific person who I raced against multiple times. His name was Adam Tuma of Faribault who graduated in 2017. Every time we raced together it was always really close. We had some epic races in the MSHSL and True Team sectional meets.

What meet do you most look forward to this year?  

Sections is easily the race I'm looking forward to the most. Our cross country team is going to have a real fight with Farmington, Winona and Kasson-Mantorville for the second team spot at state. It should be really fun and we're all going to have to run our best race if we want to pull it off.  

How do you go about deciding what your race strategy will be?  

Deciding my strategy was mostly just trial and error. I've slowly figured it out over the years of running.  Usually we have a guy that does a lot of researching on other teams. It used to be Josh Willard until he graduated but now it's Tyler Gallagher. I typically have an understanding of who my competition is going into a race, and what kind of times were run in the previous year.

Do you like to lead or follow in a race?  Why do you feel this is the best strategy?

I typically follow in a race because my kick has always been one of the stronger parts of my race. During track I like to trail off the lead right up until the final 500m when I try to surge and get in front. There is just a really satisfying feeling when you can give a really good kick and I've come to pretty much rely on my kick in a lot of races.

Is cross country a team sport?  Why or why not?

Cross Country is whatever kind of sport you want it to be! If you are more motivated by thinking you are doing something for a team, then think about the team aspect of it. If you just focus on yourself and whatever you can do to have a good race, the team will benefit. The team score is ultimately comprised of five individual scores so if everyone can focus on making their own race better, the team will be better. To answer your question it's more of an individual sport than a team sport.