It is rare for an athlete to take conference titles in multiple sports during the course of a single school year, but that is just what Sarah Sumpter did.
The junior distance runner anchored both the women’s cross country team and the women’s track and field team as they both won Big West Conference championships. And all of that came after sitting out the 2010-2011 campaigns for medical reasons.
“It’s a testament to her work ethic and her perseverance,” said cross country and track and field head coach Drew Wartenburg. “She’s an example of someone who sets high goals and then does the work necessary to achieve them.”
Sumpter finished second at the Big West cross country finals in the fall, leading the Aggies to victory. She then proceeded to place 28th at the NCAA Regional, where the team finished eighth.
She continued her tremendous run in the track season, as she was a constant force in the distance races.
Sumpter finished first in the 10,000 meter in the first day of the Big West Track and Field Championships, then followed that up with a first-place finish in the 5,000 meter the next day.
“Things have gone her way this season,” Wartenburg said. “She’s killing it on the track and she’s reaping the rewards, which is very gratifying to see as a coach.”
And even with all of her accomplishments, Sumpter’s season is still not over.
Her 12th place finish in the 10,000m at the NCAA Regional netted her a spot in the NCAA Finals, where she will compete today as the last UC Davis runner standing in the 2011-12 school year.
– Trevor Cramer