Saginaw Valley track and field star trying out for US Olympic team

Saginaw Valley track and field star Sam Black has had a crazy month.

Saginaw Valley track and field star Sam Black has had a crazy month.

The senior from Pickney won the NCAA Division II National Title in the decathlon and now he is competing this weekend for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

“I mean it was surreal, it was like a dream come true,” Black said. “That’s been something that I have wanted to do since I started track and field, just the chance to compete against some of the best in the United States and even some of the best in the world. I get to be a part of that. Talking to my parents and some of my teammates, it was just crazy. It is almost like it isn’t happening but it is.”

Black will go from national champ to Cinderfella at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon. He is ranked 16 out of the field of 18 with a score of 7807. However, that score was the 12th best this season because the pandemic scores from the last three years were factored into the field and the Olympic pandemic delay worked in his favor.

“Yeah, I did because last year I don’t think that I get into the trials. I don’t think I was good enough last year. I really do think that I needed this extra year to get me here,” Black said.

Since Black is an underdog, he is feeling little pressure and he is trying to keep his approach simple.

“Honestly my goal is just to go out there and compete, that's what I do at every chance,” Black said. “Even like at the national championships I didn’t go in there like I absolutely have to win this meet. I went out there like you know what I’m just going to go out there and compete the best that I can and whatever happens, happens. I don’t want to get a number in my head or put marks in my head, I just want to be a competitor every time I go out on the track.”

The Olympic trials for the decathlon start on Saturday with the first five events and will finish with the last five events on Sunday.

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