Athlete Profile: Sam Ruddock Steals 2nd Place at USA Pentathlon Men’s Individual National Championship
By Meggie Sullivan
Having joined Central Park Track Club in the winter of 2019, Sam Ruddock is the Club’s first-ever Modern Pentathlete—not be confused with track and field’s pentathlon or decathlon. Modern Pentathlon, for us lay folks and runners, is an Olympic sport that consists of five events: épée fencing, a 200-meter freestyle swim, horse show jumping, and a 3200-meter race combined with four stops for laser pistol shooting. The combination of events was inspired by the concept of the “ideal soldier” and was first integrated into the 1912 Olympics.
Ruddock, a member of Team USA, started his journey as a Modern Pentathlete at the age of twenty-one after his father—an Olympic qualifier for the sport in the 1980s—saw Sam’s affinity for an array of sports, building on his inherent talent for running and swimming. Ruddock’s live-like-a-clock work ethic and competitive drive has since brought him to numerous World Cup competitions, Team USA’s Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, accolades such as and to New York City today where he trains and works part-time in finance.
Ruddock joined Central Park TC this past February to improve his running performance (a heavily weighted event in Pentathlon’s point system) and to join alongside a focused team. After five months of training, Ruddock garnered a new career highlight on June 17th: a second-place finish just behind Sgt. Amro ElGeziry at the USA Pentathlon Men’s Individual National Championship held in San Antonio, Texas. With a total of 1,425 points, Ruddock started out tied for first place in the riding event with 300 pentathlon points. He picked up 245 points in fencing, 310 points in swimming, and 570 points in the laser run event. His performance also earned him the valuable spot of Team USA’s top alternate for the 2019 Pan Am Games.
Ruddock has one last World Cup event in Budapest this year on September 2ndn before he starts fresh for the new year, where his sights will have a steadfast gaze on qualifying for 2020’s Tokyo Olympic team. His goals within CPTC continue to center on dropping time in the mile as it will directly translate to his performance in Pentathlon’s running discipline. Ruddock says, “[Pentathlon] feeds my natural competitive drive. I love competition and I love the process of continually improving and working towards something.” While running is just a fifth of Sam’s training each day (as he begins each day in the pool at 6am and often ends his day with a run or workout in the evening), CPTC couldn’t be more thrilled for his success as we pursue the year ahead with him.