General of the Week: Samantha Yates, ‘19

Washington & Lee as a Division III school for athletics does not get the chance to compete against Division I athletes very often, but the women’s track team did on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 at the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational at Liberty University. Samantha Yates, ’19, not only won a 5K race against a pool that consisted of primarily Division I athletes, but she also set a meet and facility record with a time of 17:44.39. Meet your General of the Week, Samantha Yates.

Tanner Smith

Phi: What inspired you to be a runner?

SY: I was actually a tennis player for about 10 years. I started running cross country in 9th grade in order to get in shape for tennis. I ended up being better at running than I was at tennis so I stuck with it and I started to love it.

Phi: What drives you to complete all of the conditioning it takes to compete at the college level?

SY: It definitely takes a lot of mental strength. You have to build that strength up. Every run that I go on and every workout that I do builds on itself. It trains me mentally to work hard and to push to

do my best in everything that I do. It carries me through my competitions.

Phi: What did it mean to you to not only win the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational, but also set a meet and facility record?

SY: This was my first 5K competition this season and the first indoor 5K that I have run so I was just hoping to be able to get a good time and start in a good place at the beginning of the season. It was definitely cool to be able to run against D1 runners and I was happy to be able to get the time that I did. I have a lot of hope going forward and I think I will be able to improve as well.

Phi: What are you most interested in off of the track?

SY: I am actually pre-med and a Biochemistry major so that takes up a lot of my time. I am interested in research and working with kids, which is why I hope to eventually become a pediatrician. I am involved in a club called WITS, Women in Technology and Science, and I really enjoy that. I am involved in the LEAD program, which has been a really good experience for me so far, and I am also involved in 24, the athletic club that meets every month, and a couple of other little things. A lot of my time goes toward running and school.

Phi: In your little bit of free time what do you do?

SY: A lot of times I am really just trying to recover from workouts and I am trying to relax during the time I have. It is how I handle any sort of pressure I might feel from school. On the weekends, we do not have very much time because we are gone for cross country and track meets, but I definitely really value the free time that I do have. Any free time I have on the weekends I spend with my friends and just let go.

Phi: If you could do anything or have anything be true what would it be?

SY: My ultimate goals beyond college are to be able to have a meaningful impact in some area of the community or on how a group of individuals lives in some way, something that I can be proud of…I definitely want to be proud of what I do.