Sam Worley could be San Antonio's next Olympic hopeful
What makes an athlete elite?
“It comes down to a single question,” Canyon High School distance runner Sam Worley told Maximum Sports, “how good to you want to be?”
For Worley it’s a lot of talent and one passionate coach.
“I was just running in middle school to stay in shape,” Worley said, “[Canyon] coach [Sheila] West said, why don't you come run at high school? The rest in history.”
This season Sam has set the country's best time in the 800m and ran a 4-flat mile at the Texas Relays. He beat an Olympic silver medalist in that race.
“I turn into a crazy maniac,” coach West said describing what happens when she watches her track star do his thing, “I high five people I don't know. I know I can't see him because of interviews and family comes first but I am one of his biggest fans and I want to be there.”
Coach West doesn’t pretend like she made Sam what is today, he just needed motivation.
“I never doubt Sam, faith. My job more than anything is to take care of him, keep him happy and give him confidence. I've done that.”
“I was intimidated because I never met coach like her,” Worley explained, “I came to Canyon as a shy, timid kid but once she got into me she taught me how to be competitive and she changed me, she redefined me and made me more disciplined.”
Sam and Sheila have built quite a resume so far but everyone wants to know if Sam is thinking Olympics one day.
“Just making the Olympics would be a dream. I have had a lot of people tell me I could make the Olympics but I don’t think about it. Nothing is guaranteed in this sport.”
One part of Sam’s story is guaranteed.
This summer will be Sheila and Sam’s last race as coach and athlete. They say no matter where Sam’s finish line ends up they will never forget where it all started.
“I don't think it's hit me yet,” West said about Sam’s impending graduation, “I think when it does it will be a memory that I won't soon forget.”
“I know there will always will be a place for coach West in my heart,” Worley explained, “ I am so thankful for her. She'll continue to support me even when I am not her athlete. I know she will, she's such a great person.”