In the spotlight this week is student-athlete Samantha Rogers, a junior runner on the Tigers' cross-country team
Auburn Villager: When did you get your start in cross-country?
Samantha Rogers: Well, I started running cross-country for the junior high/high school in seventh grade. And my brothers run, so that's how I got started, just watching them run, and I really enjoyed it.
AV: What have you learned along the way about how to approach running?
SR: I guess I've learned that, obviously, team is very important and just to go out into every workout and every into practice or race knowing that you're working for somebody else and not just yourself.
AV: How do mentally approach running long distances?
SR: Usually, I try to stay as positive as I can because some days you're just not feeling it. I usually visualize before a race, too. In practice, especially if you pick a route that you really like, I just focus on the good things.
AV: What have you worked on in the last year to get your time down?
SR: If we do a hard workout, maybe I'll do an extra rep or I'll make sure I'm hydrated during the day. That's something I struggle with a lot. I just try to work as hard as I can in each practice and every race I have amazing competition I have running against me, so I work as hard as I can.
AV: How is the season going so far?
SR: It's going really well. We have a lot of girls who have moved up, and a lot of the younger girls are really improving their times, so it's exciting how we're doing this year.
AV: Have you stepped more into a leadership role now that you're an upperclassman?
SR: A little bit. We have a couple seniors, so I usually don't step up a lot. But I am kind of crazy during practice. Sometimes, I step up and take on a leadership role, especially if one of the seniors isn't here.
AV: How many different races do you run?
SR: Well, cross-country is 3.1 miles for pretty much every race. I think the first race we did this season was a 2 mile, but that was at Smiths Station. That was the only exception to 3.1.
AV: What's your best time running 3.1 miles?
SR: 18.17, which was last year. This year, it might be 18.49, but I'm trying to get that down.
AV: Is cross-country something you would like to do after you graduate?
SR: I do. I really want to run in college. Right now, I actually really want to go here, to Auburn because I've lived here my whole life. I just love it. I've seen how the team works because my brother runs on it, and that's really what I want to do.
AV: Does having a brother who runs help you?
SR: It does. I love watching him run, and he's really positive about it. On Christmas breaks, he's always running ,so he's always my go-to. My other brother runs, too.
AV: Do you train with him?
SR: No. One Christmas I did because I really didn't want to run by myself, but I try not to because they're a lot faster than me.
AV: Any hobbies outside of sports?
SR: I like hanging with my friends, downtown or something. I actually love reading. That's one of my main hobbies.