Cormac Sampson, Badgers football recruit

Cormac Sampson

Everything’s more calculated in the weight room this spring for Wisconsin Badgers football recruit Cormac Sampson.

Doing his Badgers lifts five times per week, Sampson — a versatile prospect from Eau Claire Memorial who will either play on the line or at tight end for UW — has pulled double duty as the last month of his high school track season ticks away.

He’s getting himself physically ready for Big Ten football while trying to accomplish goals in high school track. It begins with his new lifting regimen.

“The amount of reps, and it’s a lot more math added to it,” said Sampson, who looks as big and strong as ever. “High school, it’s more like, ‘Just do this — three sets and five reps.’ But now with the Badgers it’s like, ‘Do this amount of reps and sets but this is the percentage you have to use instead.’”

He made his own arithmetic at Tuesday’s City Meet at North. The distance his fourth discus throw traveled now equals the greatest heave in Memorial history.

Sampson tossed the nearly four-pound saucer 162 feet, 5 inches on his final throw of the event. Fittingly, it was his last rep.

“My first throw wasn’t that great, but my coach told me what I needed to fix, and on that throw a lot of things clicked,” Sampson said.

He dethroned Hans Riedel’s throw of 159-8, set in 2009.

Sampson is a big dude who has bulked up even more after a stellar basketball career ended in March. But brute strength alone doesn’t win in the thrower’s circle.

Sampson and the rest of the Memorial throwers — a roster that includes Minnesota football recruit Jack Kern — work on technique every day. Combine that with the work in the weight room — whether lifting for a Big Ten football program or not — and the results have been stellar so far thus spring.

“Footwork, we probably spend 15 minutes even before throwing to work on our full springs and stuff,” Sampson said. “Probably my hardest part is getting low in that power position for that final release.”

Sampson is a household name in the football community, and his commitment to UW has been a big talking points among statewide talk shows and articles.

Before he pulls on the red and white, though, he’s still got business to take care of in purple.

Sampson has ambitions to end his prep career in La Crosse to introduce himself early to sports fans across Wisconsin.

“I’d like to make it to the state meet for discus for sure,” Sampson said.

Sampson also finished second in the shot put with a heave of 47 feet, 5 inches. Teammate Carl Hansen won in 48-5.

Kern was second in the discus at 144-10.

Memorial swept the team titles, winning the boys event with 123 points, followed by North with 87, Regis 46 and Altoona 13.

On the girls side, Memorial had 125 points, North 79, Regis 39 and Altoona 27.

Regis’ Isaac Michels won the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.23 seconds and also was victorious in the triple jump in 39 feet, 7 inches.

North’s David Ecker won a showdown in the 3,200 with a personal best time of 9:41.90.

Kary Patricka, a North junior, won three events. She struck gold in the 100 with a dash of 12.53 seconds, the 200 in 26.26 and the long jump in 16-10.75.

Regis freshman Josie Stender won the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.20 seconds and teamed up with Amber Darge, Elle Matson and Bria Thalacker to win the 800 relay in 1:52.69. Matson, Darge and Thalacker ran with Gabrielle Semerad on the victorious 400 relay in 52.71.

North freshman Ray Davis was a part of three first-place finishes. He won the 100 in 11.41 seconds and ran with Josh Jahn, Charlie Wolter and Zach DeYot and victorious 400 and 800 relays. The 400 relay clocked in a time of 45.36 seconds, while the 800 came in at 1:34.01.

Altoona’s Mariah Heopner high jumped to a height of 5-4 to win.


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