October 26, 2011

Meet Your Islanders: Julia Sambu, Women's Cross Country

Meet Your Islanders: Julia Sambu, Women's Cross Country

Julia Sambu brought a wealth of talent to the women's cross country team when she transferred to Texas A&M - Corpus Christi in 2010. While running at Rend Lake Junior College (2008-10), Sambu garnered a national title at the school, finishing first in the 5k at the National Junior College Championships. Additionally, the senior set an outdoor school record in track and field during the 2010 season with a 17:38 mark in the 5K.

Perhaps her success is no surprise as her family, as well as Kenya native and World Championship medalist Sally Kipyego inspire the native of Eldoret, Kenya, to keep ahead of the pack for the Islanders. Sambu will try and do just that and improve upon her 2010 fourth-place finish on Monday, Oct. 31, at the 2011 Southland Conference Championships.

Sambu is next up in the "Meet Your Islanders" features for GoIslanders.com, a unique way to get to truly know your Islander athletes. Media Relations Intern Amy Carrizales conducts the weekly in-depth feature on Islanders athletes that help them connect with their fans.

Amy Carrizales: What has been your favorite cross country memory so far?

Julia Sambu: Last year at the Islander Splash where I finished second overall. I wanted to win so bad, but I came in second.

AC: As a native of Eldoret, Kenya what is the biggest cultural adjustment that you have made since living in Corpus Christi?

JS: Being able to interact with different people from different parts of the world, and having to wear tiny shorts. I wasn't used to wearing such short shorts, but it is just so hot!

AC: What do you like most about Texas A&M- Corpus Christi?

JS: Going to the beach to have fun, even though I am not a great swimmer!

AC: What is your favorite thing about Coach Flanagan?

JS: He is such a great and caring coach. He always makes sure that all is well with us.

AC: Where is your favorite place you have competed at? Why?

JS: At last year's Cross Country Regional Meet in Waco, Texas. I had a good race, almost breaking 20 minutes in the 6k. I narrowly missed going to Nationals in Indiana.

AC: What is something about you that most people don't know?

JS: Sally Kipyego, former Texas Tech track star and IAAF World Championship Silver Medalist in the 10k, inspires me. She is a star and Kenya is so proud of her. We have several things in common and I sometimes tell myself, if Sally can do it, so can I.

AC: What would you do with a million dollars?

JS: I would help the less fortunate and travel the world.

AC: What are your career goals?

JS: To finish my degree and get a good job so I can take care of myself.

AC: What is your greatest accomplishment so far, cross country-wise?

JS: Being one of the schools' top runners and working so hard to win the conference as a team.

AC: Do you have any special talents?

JS: Running is my special talent.

AC: If you had super hero powers, what power would you have?

JS: To have wings so I can fly back to Kenya. That way I don't have to pay so much money for an air ticket.

AC: What is your favorite quote?

JS: "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." – Juma Ikangaa, Tanzania.

AC: Who is someone that has truly impacted your life?

JS: My family, they have always supported and encouraged me to make wise decisions.

AC: Has anyone influenced your passion for running?

JS:  Running is a great talent in my family, starting with my mom and dad. Most of the people in my family are runners, including cousins who run for various schools here in the states.

Either:

ESPN or MTV: MTV

Hot or Cold: Hot

Hip-Hop or Country: Country

Cat or Dog: Dog

Halloween or Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving