Every Monday night for the rest of the high school year, our sports staff will name a Sentinel Athlete of the Week featuring one area athlete who stood out in competition.
This week we select Carlisle track runner Sam Affolder. Carlisle boys made history with the team’s first ever PIAA Track & Field team championship on Saturday, beating out Milton Hershey by three points, 26-23.
Affolder was a huge part of getting the trophy with two silver medals on the day — one in the 3200 behind J.P. McCaskey’s Nathan Henderson with a time of 9:02.95 and another in the 1600 with a 4:12.93, right behind teammate Isaac Kole’s first-place finish.
It was a gutsy performance: three miles in near winning times just hours apart. Coach Ed Boardman was in a bit of disbelief after.
It was the crown jewel on Affolder’s final event with the Thundering Herd. The sophomore will be running in Virginia next year with his family moving and older brother Noah Affolder off to Syracuse for his freshman year of college running.
Q: What are your keys to success as a track runner?
A: As a runner the best way of being successful is staying committed to a plan that works for yourself. I’ve found that what Coach Boardman has been doing here in Carlisle works very well for myself and others on the team.
Q: What hobbies do you have outside of your sport?
A: Outside of running I spend a lot of my time playing video games.
Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?
A: While being an astronaut may not fit the restraints of “any job in the world,” I would be thrilled to be an astronaut up in space and hopefully even be the first on Mars.
Q: Who inspires you the most in life?
A: My oldest brother, Murphy Affolder. He is always tracking my meets even though he lives in Missouri, and when something goes wrong or he sees me have a bad finish or a good finish, he’ll be the first to text me and keep me humbled and focused and will always have words before and after my races that stick with me during my race and help me stay focused.
Q: How is it moving around as a kid in a military family — what’s the most difficult aspect? Do you have a favorite place that you’ve moved to so far?
A: If you were to numerically graph the positives and negatives of military life there is a line of best fit right in the middle, and the hardest part usually is the relocation process of not knowing anywhere to go and not knowing anyone. But also, one of the best parts of the move is the relocation. Back in 2008-09 we lived in Alaska, which was unmatched as my favorite place we’ve ever lived; it was just too breathtaking everywhere you went. If you ever get the chance to go or even to go again, do it.