Student Spotlight: Samara Wheeler


Samara Wheeler is a junior and dedicated cross country athlete at West Salem High School. Wheeler has been running since sixth grade and began training in the middle of May for a mini-marathon she plans to run this summer. A half-marathon is 13.1 miles and typically takes a little over 2 hours to run. Wheeler was inspired by some of the girls on the team who had completed a half-marathon and had an amazing season. “I wanted to see if I could have a great season like them,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler ran a half-marathon at the end of August last year, the week after Cross Country started.  “There was a lot of work that went into it,” Wheeler said. “It was definitely a challenge mentally and physically but it was also very empowering to know I could do it.”

This year, Wheeler will be running a half marathon July 4th in the Twin Cities. Wheeler is running with her good friend Lexi Giblin and her family will also be running it with her. Wheeler said her goal is simply to finish it. For training, Wheeler is going to be doing lots and lots of running. “This year is gonna be harder because I sprained my ankle and the soccer season overlaps the training months,” Wheeler said. “Training for a half is a lot of work, but it is totally worth it! I want to run a full marathon, and I think it would be super cool to run the Boston Marathon someday.”