FORT WAYNE — Columbia City cross country stand-out Samantha Roush isn’t unfamiliar to injuries this season.
After a preseason injury that knocked her out of practice for nearly six weeks, Roush has been rebuilding her stamina — and confidence — all season.
Just seven days before her third appearance at the New Haven semi-state meet, Roush was in a four-wheeler accident, injuring her tailbone and taking her away from practice most of the week.
“It’s been a very stressful and frustrating season with injuries,” Roush said. “I was very tired today.”
But despite the injury, Roush placed ninth and is advancing to the Indiana State Cross Country Finals for her third year in a row.
“She lived up to her name,” Columbia City Head Coach Bob Fahl said. “I couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Roush said Saturday’s race was one of the toughest she’s ran in her career.
“I was very tired today,” Roush said. “But I was still able to run my race.”
Fahl compared Roush’s performance to Columbia City’s football game the night before, as the Eagles beat state-ranked Leo to advance to the next round of sectionals.
“Obviously they wanted to play football. They wanted to die another day. Sam had the same attitude today,” Fahl said.
Roush placed seventh in the state finals last season, but with all things considered, Fahl said the goal is to place in the top 25 this year.
“I’m just going to see what I can do,” Roush said. “I’m excited. I’m just going to go enjoy the ride.”