Samantha Howard grew accustomed to success as a member of the Harlan County High School track and cross country teams. She hopes to continue her winning ways on the next level as a member of the Union College track and cross country program.
Howard signed with Union College last week in ceremonies at HCHS.
“I chose Union because when I visited the campus I knew it was the place for me,” Howard said. “I had options, but I got a really good feeling about Union from the moment I stepped onto the campus and met the coaches. I’m excited to start my journey as a Union Bulldog. “
“I’m very happy for Samantha and proud of the opportunity she’s earned for herself,” Harlan County coach Ryan Vitatoe said. “She’s been a huge part of our program for the last three years, and I know she’ll do well at Union. They are very fortunate to have her, and I think she will be able to step in and could fill multiple roles during track due to her versatility as an athlete. She could compete in anything from the 800 all the way up to the 10k. She’ll have a great career there.”
In three years as a runner at Harlan County, Howard was a member of three district championship and two Southeastern Kentucky Conference championship cross country teams and was an all-conference and all-district runner.
Her biggest success in track came as a senior as she was on the district championship and region runner-up teams earlier this spring. She qualified for the state meet in both the 4×400 and 4×800 meter relay teams, along with Kali Nolan, K.K. Johnson and Phebe McHargue.
“My time running for Harlan County was the best years of my life. I fell in love with the sport from the moment I ran my first race,” Howard said. “I would be nowhere without my awesome coaches and my team though. That team changed my life, and I’m so proud of them and I can’t wait to see what they do in the future. The friendships I made is what I’ll remember the most. Every girl on the team is like a sister to me, and they made me a better athlete and a better person. They all have bright futures ahead of them.”
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134