Wallenstrom’s first-place finish was a surprise, even to her. But nice guys do finish first, and Sam Wallenstrom is a living and local example.
Baseball’s win-at-all-costs legend Leo Durocher titled his book, “Nice Guys Finish Last.” Marin Catholic High School sophomore track star Samantha “Sam” Wallenstrom proved him wrong. She was a “nice guy” and finished first, running to both the North Coast and state championships in the girls’ 800-meter contest.
Her shining example of kindness and good sportsmanship, by stopping in the section championship on May 18, made her a winner, perhaps more than her first-place finish. She followed that stunning performance by beating the favorites in the state championship. During the section championship, she was racing with Concord High School runner Rayna Stanziano, when the senior track star, who had been battling a virus, fell. She was only 50 meters short of the finish line and in first place.