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Former Rugby Student Competes at National Track Event

By Staff | Mar 8, 2016

(Submitted photo) Sarah Skipper gets over a hurdle at a recent track & field event. Skipper lived in Rugby from 1997 to 2005, and currently resides in Santa Barbara, Calif.

When she lived in Rugby from 1997 to 2005, Sarah Skipper credited a former teacher for getting her into track & field.

“I had Mrs. (Denise) Myhre as a 6th grade gym teacher and she suggested I do track because she thought I was a good runner,” Skipper said.

Skipper began competing in track in earnest the next year, starting with long distance events and later adding in sprints, hurdles and field events.

Her sophomore year of high school, she and her family moved to Lewistown, Mont. There, she finished high school and competed in cross country and track. She went on to attend Jamestown College to pursue a Spanish major, graduating in 2011. While in college, she was a two-time All American in the pentathlon and the heptathlon.

“I was successful in college but I have improved in every event and the heptathlon as a whole as a post collegiate athlete. As long as I am improving and enjoying the training I stay pretty motivated. I have always been intrinsically motivated with track, I am truly passionate about the sport,” Skipper said.

Last week, Skipper competed and took eighth at the USA Track & Field Indoor Combined Events National Championship, held at Doane College in Crete, Neb. To qualify, she entered a score she received at a track meet at the University of Washington. While she didn’t meet scores for automatic qualification, Skipper said there was still room in the field to compete and her entry was accepted.

“I am very grateful and excited to have a chance to compete in a USA national championship among some of the best athletes in the country! One of my goals as a post-collegiate athlete was to compete at a USA national meet so it feels really good to be here,” Skipper said.

The pentathlon consisted of five events: 60-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump, shot put and an 800-meter run. Skipper finished with a 5′ 1 1/4″ high jump; a 17′ 3/4″ long jump; threw shot put 31′ 8 3/4″; and finished the hurdles with a 9.12 time and the 800 with a time of 2:35.58.

Skipper currently resides in Santa Barbara, Calif.

“It’s lovely there and perfect weather for training, but after 2 1/2 years there I have to say I miss the North Dakota winters,” Skipper jokingly said.

In Santa Barbara, she is also a member of the Santa Barbara Track Club, a club where post-collegiate athletes continue training and competing.

“It’s amazing having such wonderful and talented training partners and there is such a feeling of support and camaraderie among us,” Skipper said. “My teammates are from all over the country and each of us has moved to Santa Barbara with a similar dream in mind. It is a really special thing to be a part of.”

Skipper said some of her biggest fans throughout her track career are her parents, Dr. Ron & Jackie Skipper.

“My dad is the one who really encouraged me to pursue this dream,” Skipper said.

Sarah says that at the end of the day, a track and field event is only athletic event.

“While it is great to help develop character, it does not define me as a person,” Sarah said. “Having success in track in field is all about consistency in training and life, if you do the small things right and consistently put in hard work, you will have a good chance to succeed.”

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