PREP PROFILE: Sample Sisters were born to run

Nichole Sample runs her leg during the 4-x-800 relay at the section 2AA meet in St. Peter on June 2.

MARSHALL – For some people running is a nightmare. For the Sample family it’s a lifestyle. Marshall’s Nichole and Natalee Sample were born to run. Both of their parents, Dave and Marie Sample are track coaches at Marshall High School, while Marie also coaches the girls cross country team.

“My family has always been a running family,” Nichole said. “It was just natural for me to go out for those two sports. Cross country was the best option because I get to do what I love.”

This fall will be the start of Nichole’s senior year at Marshall High School. She is a member of the cross country team and competes on the 4-x-400 and 4-x-800 relay teams in the spring. She also runs the 800 meter and competes in various other distance races when needed.

Natalee will begin her sophomore year at Marshall High School this fall. Like her sister she is a member of the cross country team. In the spring she is a member of the 4-x-400, 4-x-800 and the 1,600. She’s also plays basketball in the winter.

For Natalee competing in cross country and track gives her more time to spend with her family.

“It was something where a lot of my family does it and it was a chance to spend time with them,” Natalee said. “It also looked really fun. My mom coaches track so it was something where I thought it would be fun to go and try. She would come home with all these stories and when I was younger I’d go to practices with her and it looked fun.”

There are days where most student athletes can’t wait to get done with practice to get away from their head coach. For the Sample sisters they don’t get to enjoy that luxury.

“It’s interesting,” Nichole said. “It’s a really unique experience. You go to practice and then the coaches come home with you. It’s just constant coaching all year round. It’s fun and it’s nice having the whole family at every event. It’s nice being able to spend a lot of time together.”

Natalee added that having her parents as coaches is a fun experience.

“It’s really good,” she said. “It’s really different for other kids probably. They don’t normally have their parents coaching you in two sports. It’s pretty fun.”

Natalee and Nichole are two of the four members on the 4-x-800 relay team that made the trip to the state meet this past spring, where they placed seventh. Nichole said that running with her sister has brought them closer.

“I really like running with Natalee,” Nichole said. “It’s fun and it’s helped us grow closer. It’s a really great friendship.”

Natalee said she’ll miss running with her older sister when she graduates this year.

“It’s brought us closer,” Natalee said. “I really love running with her. It’s a lot of fun to compete with her.”

They both love competing with one another and they both said that the 4-x-800 is one of their favorite events.

“I love the 4-x-800 and the 800,” Nichole said. “I think it’s because of how hard they both are. You know you have to push yourself. It’s really gratifying to know that your work is paying off when you see your times drop.”

While Nichole enjoys the challenge of the 4-x-800, Natalee enjoys the friendships she’s forged while being on the relay team.

“I love the team aspect of that event,” Natalee said. “You get to become really close with the three girls you run with.”

Kaia Sueker and Claire Boersma were the other two members of the 4-x-800 relay team this past spring. Boersma graduated this spring and her spot on team will need to be filled this upcoming season. Natalee said finding Claire’s replacement is her main goal right now.

“We want to find another girl to help our 4-x-800 team and get back to state,” Natalee said. “Claire graduated, so we need somebody to fill that spot. I’d like to get to state in an open event as well.”

As Nichole prepares for her final season as a Tiger she has a number of things she’d like to accomplish before she hangs up her Tiger gear.

“I want to get down in the low 19 minute mark and even 18 minute mark for my 5K in cross country,” Nichole said. “I want to get in the low two minutes in the 800. We are hoping to get to state in the 4-x-800.”

Nichole stared running due to her family ties and her passion for running. That passion has helped her form close relationships with people outside of her family. Those relationships will be the thing she misses the most about being a Marshall Tiger.

“I’m going to miss the people in the community,” Nichole said. “You get really close with the people you run with. It’s just a really close knit group. I’m really going to miss the people here.”