Fishers High School junior Sam Quagliaroli gave up one passion to focus on another.
“I started running competitively in sixth grade,” he said. “I was playing hockey at the time. I started doing both at the same time. The running really picked up during my eighth-grade year.”
Quagliaroli stopped playing travel hockey after his sophomore year.
“Then it really took off,” he said.
With his full focus on running, Quagliaroli finished third Oct. 28 in the IHSAA boys cross country state meet at Terre Haute. He had a time of 15 minutes and 6 seconds in the 5K race. Fishers placed second to Carmel in the team standings.
“I feel like the biggest thing is, I have a lot more time to focus on aspects of running that are going to improve my running,” Quagliaroli said. “Instead of going to hockey practice and then running practice and having to balance them both, I feel like me being able to take care of my body in terms of running-wise, time to stretch, do core and little things better, that’s been the big part.”
Prior to the state finals, Quagliaroli won the Noblesville Sectional and Shelbyville Regional individual titles.
“One of the things that helped me is having a great team to train with,” he said. “That toughens your mind to know those boys are there to hold you accountable every day. If you want to slack off, they are there to keep you accountable. It keeps your mind strong. Throughout the season, I think that was the deciding factor. It’s a long season, so it’s all about your mental strength and how hard you can fight.”
His best time is 14:52, which he achieved in the Nike Twilight meet in Terre Haute.
Quagliaroli was slated to compete with his Fishers teammates Nov. 12 in the Nike Cross Country Regionals at Terre Haute.
As a sophomore, he placed 18th in the state cross country meet.
“It was hard for me to give up hockey, but coming off last track season made it a little bit easier,” he said.
Quagliaroli placed sixth in the 3,200 and was a member of the fourth-place 3,200 relay team in the IHSAA state track and field meet.
Quagliaroli was a left winger on the Hamilton Southeastern hockey club team as a sophomore with a team made up of both Fishers and HSE players. Previously, he played for the Junior Indy Fuel.
Quagliaroli said it’s always been a goal to compete at the collegiate level.
“I’m just trying to get to know college programs,” said Quagliaroli, who said he likely wants to major in business.
Favorite athletes: Michael Jordan and Patrick Kane
Favorite subject: Economics
Favorite musician: Bruno Mars
Favorite movies: “Miracle on Ice” and “Remember the Titans”