Sam Lawler is leaving Pittsford Mendon one of the most decorated runners in Section V history.
The distance runner is one of the fastest people in New York State, and one of the lone athletes from Section V to win both a NYSPHSAA state title and a New York State Federation Championship. This winter, Lawler was named the 2019 Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year for New York.
“It meant a lot to me, it was one of my goals coming into the season,” said Lawler. “I knew I had a good season, the season that I wanted, and then to be recognized for that is really nice.”
Of all of his accomplishments, being named an All-American after running his best career race at the Nike Cross Country National Championship in Eugene, Oregon is one of the biggest highlights.
“A couple days before the meet I was running around Nike campus with another New York guy and we saw Donavan Brazier going for a run,” said Lawler. “It was crazy because you don’t ever see that.”
Lawler is going to continue his distance career at Syracuse, where he will be reuniting with his older brother Nathan, a rising junior for the Orange.
“Seeing how well he’s doing there, I figure I’ll do well too since we both did well under the same training in high school,” said Lawler. “I’ve learned a lot from him and from our high school coach. He’s helped me with a lot of racing strategy, stuff like that.”