The Sam “Spike” Freeling ’10 Sprint Track Rededication

Danny Stock
The Sam “Spike” Freeling ’10 Sprint Track was rededicated on December 18, 2019. When Sam “Spike” passed away in 2013, his friends and family raised money and constructed the GDS High School sprint track, which was dedicated in his honor in 2014. This fall, along with landscape renovations for our unified campus, crews rebuilt and resurfaced the sprint track, improving the jumping pit, and constructed a sidewalk beside it.

Despite the bitter cold, nearly 75 alumni, current students, parents, alumni parents, and GDS current and former faculty and staff gathered on the track to reflect on Sam’s legacy. Coach Anthony Belber welcomed attendees, who also heard heart-felt comments from current and former coaches and alumni teammates of Sam, including Sam’s brother Zack ’13.

Leah Snider ’12, a former member of the GDS running program and assistant coach, reminded those gathered that while “Anthony is the heart of the program, Sam is the soul of the team.”

Daniel Samet ’12 shared a testament to Sam’s indomitable spirit, recalling the way he rallied for yet another event just after completing a series of grueling races on a terribly hot day. He spoke words from Rudyard Kipling’s poem "If" that encapsulated what Daniel described as Sam’s “bigger heart, fighting to the end.” Daniel quoted, “If you can fill the unforgiving minute / With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, / Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it…”

Former teammate Marisa Messina ’12 spoke about “channeling your own inner Sam” and the endearing scrappiness of the team. Associate head of school Kevin Barr spoke of Sam's measured balance of both Hopper pride and humility.

Sam’s brother Zack said, “It means a lot to the family to see such a great turnout in the cold. And it makes a difference in hard times to have a good community like the GDS running community to keep you going.”

Anthony brought the group together for a closing cheer of “Run Good,” a long-time tradition of the program.
 
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