-Story by Tim Glon, Ohio Northern Sports Information
A middle distance runner by trade, senior Sam Krabacher is one several student/athletes on the Ohio Northern track and field team that gives a full commitment to the cross country season as well.
He is highly successful in the middle distances on the track, earning five All-Ohio Athletic Conference honors in his career, including back-to-back top-3 finishes in the 800-meter dash at the OAC Indoor Championships.
Despite it being outside of his comfort zone, with the 8,000-meter distance more than five times longer than his longest track race of 1,500 meters, Krabacher is just as dedicated during the fall as in the winter and spring.
He is also a two-time Academic All-OAC honoree as a Pharmacy major on top of being a three-season student/athlete.
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 cross country season, Krabacher was a team leader in the fall. No one would have blamed him for coasting a bit and concentrating on his difficult Pharmacy curriculum – but that is not in his makeup as a competitor and a person.
To replace the season and give his young harriers a chance to compete, ONU head coach Jason Maus created the Polar Bear Grand Prix, a series of six intrasquad races spaced from 2 miles to 8,000 meters from August-November.
Using an intricate scoring system the Hamilton, Ohio, native finished fourth out of 24 runners in the Grand Prix. He nearly won the 2-mile time trial on grass and was in the top five in all of the six races this fall.
“Sam is one of the most committed and dedicated men we have in the program,” Maus said. “The balance of Pharmacy and being in season year-round is no small task. He does both at a high level. He's a guy that many of the others look up to, and he's a guy that I turn to as a leader. To set an example both academically and athletically. He is a great representative of ONU in general, but specifically the college of Pharmacy and the ONU track and field and cross country programs.”