Sarah Runyon is the embodiment of good sportsmanship.
At the state track & field meet last season, the Argyle hurdler was poised to bring home a bronze medal in the 100 meter event, when the unthinkable happened.
“I fell over the last hurdle,” Runyon said. “I was in the moment and didn’t realize what just happened.”
Runyon, 17, was running well and felt confident as she neared the end of the race until that moment.
And as the other runners passed her by, Runyon looked all around in a state of disbelief, trying to grasp the reality of what had just happened.
Then the Argyle junior did something that demonstrated for everyone present what being a student athlete is all about.
She rose to her feet, composed herself, and finished the race.
Was she disappointed? Of course.
But her father, Andrew Runyon, had some words of advice that helped his daughter put things into perspective.
“After I fell and saw my dad, he told me, ‘we’re all still trying to get over that last hurdle in life,'” Runyon said. “Those words really stuck with me and pushed me to go all out this year.”
Then, she took it one step further.
Rather than sulk or feel sorry for herself, she cheered the rest of her teammates as they competed in their respective events throughout the rest of the tournament.
“My team has always been family to me, and no matter what, the girls and coaches always had my back,” Runyon said. “I saw the way they worked in practice, and I knew that no matter what,
they deserved everything. Supporting them and giving them confidence would give them the strength to finish each race the best they could. We would all push each other.”
The now Argyle senior said that the experience at state last year has motivated her to achieve a better result at every meet this season.
Runyon won district and area championships in the 4 x 100 relay and 100 meter hurdles last season and qualified in four events for region.
With the district meet scheduled for later this week, Runyon will be competing in the 4X100 meter relay, the 100 meter and 300 meter hurdles and the long jump events.
The Argyle senior has been working out at the gym religiously, concentrating on strength and conditioning, and running the 100 and 300 meter hurdle events with a focus on form and endurance.
Runyon does not plan to compete in track & field in college, so a state title is the ultimate prize for the Argyle teen.
“Winning a state championship would mean everything to me,” Runyon said. “It has always been my biggest goal…making my family, coaches and supporters proud would mean everything.
“Ending my high school running career like that would be a memory I would cherish forever.”
The district meet will be held at Springtown Stadium in Springtown on April 13 & 14.