Rhode Island Cross-Country Runners To Watch: Sam Toolin, North Kingstown High

Sam Toolin, North Kingstown

After a phenomenal freshmen year where he was one of the best ninth-graders in the country and consistently challenged some of our best here in the Ocean State, the Skipper junior had to overcome a number of different issues last year and fell short of matching or exceeding what he did during his frosh campaign, one where he was third at the cross-country state meet and nearly missed a spot to the Nike Cross Nationals, placing ninth overall at the regional meet. Among his multiple fine performances on the track, he clocked a personal best of 4:13 for the mile and 1:55 for 800m.

If Toolin can return to form, demonstrating his gutsy, no-quit attitude, he'll certainly be a runner to keep an eye on this fall. The Skipper standout clocked a best of 15:39 for 5K as a ninth-grader and managed to break 16 minutes three times last year. At his best, he has to be labeled as a leading contender for individual honors this year. More than likely that will be determined during the first month of the season.