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Olympian Sam Tanner To Pursue Pro Career

Jan 19, 2022

SEATTLE – Following two record-setting seasons as a Husky, New Zealand Olympic athlete Sam Tanner has announced that he is taking the next step with his running career and joining the professional ranks. Tanner, a one-time collegiate 1,500-meter record-holder, has signed with Puma and will continue to train at home in New Zealand.
On his Instagram (@samueltanner_) Tanner posted a statement, excerpted in part: "It has always been a dream of mine to be a professional athlete and I couldn't have made it here without the invaluable experience of competing in the NCAA, representing University of Washington and the Huskies!
"Firstly, I'd like to thank my UW coach Andy Powell for seeing potential in me from when I was 18 and taking a chance, giving me the opportunity to race in the NCAA and experience a completely different lifestyle.
"Thank you Andy for supporting me, not only in my athletic career but also in academics and my personal goals and dreams. You have always had my best interest at heart and supported me regardless of how far reaching my aspirations were.
"Thank you UW for letting me be a part of such an amazing team and culture. I've made so many life long connections that I'm exceptionally grateful for."
"Sam is one of the best athletes I've ever worked with," said Husky Head Coach Andy Powell. "He made a great contribution to our team far beyond his talent on the track as just a great person and teammate. We were fortunate to have him for two years and we're all looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for Sam and his new wife Melissa. I have no doubt he will be competing in World and Olympic finals for years to come, and hopefully we will see him back in Seattle soon."
Tanner became the first current Husky track athlete to compete at the Olympics since 1996 when he qualified for the 1,500-meters. Tanner ran his Olympic Standard with a collegiate record time of 3:34.72 set at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in New York in Feb. 2021, becoming the first NCAA athlete ever to run under 3:35.00 indoors or out. He went on to place ninth in his preliminary heat at the Tokyo Games.
He also reached the NCAA 1,500-meter final last spring as just a redshirt freshman, placing 10th in the final. Indoors, Tanner ran the second-fastest mile in UW history, going 3:55.23 in the Dempsey at the 2021 Husky Classic.
Tanner also started off an eventful 2022 by getting married to his fiancé Melissa.

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