State Champion spotlight: Sam Rusak Scarborough HS

State Champion spotlight: Sam Rusak Scarborough HS

Junior Sam Rusak of Scarborough won the high jump & pole vault state titles at the Class A State meet. Rusak jumped 6-2 to take the HJ, & 15-6 in the vault. He went on to finish 12th in the vault at NB Nationals. We caught up with him to ask about his preparations, his goals, and about winning 2 events. 

What were your preparations leading up to the state meet?

My preparations leading up to the state meet included eating healthy, working with my coaches to perfect my technique, staying well rested, and well hydrated.

How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?

How I dealt with the pressure and emotions during the state meet was to stay focused on myself and the events I was in. In between events I left the track area so I could just relax before I competed.

You started the meet off by winning the high jump. What did it mean to win that first individual state title?

Winning my first individual state championship in the high jump really got me pumped for the rest of the meet. I wasn't seeded to win, so it was very exciting to know that I could perform at that level.

In the pole vault you didn't start vaulting until 14-6, where only one other competitor was left. Talk about the choice to open at 14-6 in the vault, and what did you think when you missed your first attempt?

In warm-ups I threw a bungee up at 15' so I had something to shoot for. On my last warm up jump, I cleared the bungee so it gave my coach and I confidence that I could start in the mid 14's no problem. When I missed my first attempt I wasn't nervous, because I was feeling great and was ready to go to a bigger pole after my first jump. And from there I knew I could do it.

Coming into the season what were your goals and did you achieve them?

Coming into the season I had a few goals in mind. First I wanted to win my first individual state championship in the vault. Next was to get hold of the team state championship after last years second place loss. Then after the first meet I cleared a PR of 6'2 in the high jump, I started having the goal of winning high jump in the back of my mind.

You struggled at the indoor state meet a year ago, what did you do differently to prepare this year?

The struggle last year in the vault really got me mentally and physically hungry for this year. I quit cross country and focused on lifting and getting faster, I got on a diet to help me drop body fat, and I came into each competition mentally ready for what I was about to do. I had confidence in myself and I knew what I was capable of doing.

Rusak's High Jump Progression


Rusak's  Pole Vault Progression


2015-16 Results

5-8IndoorHJSMAA: Gorham - TA - Cheverus - Scarborough2ndFinals>
5-10IndoorHJDartmouth Relays8thFinals>
6-0IndoorHJSMAA Southwesterns Championships1stFinals>

6-2IndoorHJSMAA: Noble - Portland - Scarborough1stFinals>
6-2IndoorHJUSM Relays1stFinals>

6-2IndoorHJClass A Indoor State Championship1stFinals>
6-3IndoorHJ29th New England Indoor Track & Field Championships10thFinals>

13-0IndoorPVSMAA: Gorham - TA - Cheverus - Scarborough1stFinals>
13-6IndoorPVDartmouth Relays5thFinals>
14-3IndoorPVSMAA:Deering - Windham - Scarborough - McAuley1stFinals>
14-5.25IndoorPVUSATF New England Indoor Championship5thFinals>
15-0IndoorPVSMAA:Last Chance1stFinals>
15-3.5IndoorPVNew Balance Nationals Indoor12thFinals>
15-6IndoorPVClass A Indoor State Championship1stFinals>
15-9IndoorPVSMAA Southwesterns Championships1stFinals>

52.11Indoor400mSMAA:Deering - Windham - Scarborough - McAuley2ndFinals>
52.30Indoor400mClass A Indoor State Championship6thFinals>
53.03Indoor400mSMAA:South Portland,Bonny Eagle,Massasbesic,Scarborough, McAule1stFinals>
53.80Indoor400mSMAA Southwesterns Championships5thFinals>