With a background in gymnastics, Sara Griffith knew she wanted to take her jumping and twisting skills with her into a high school sport. Those skills landed her on the Rosary Academy track and field team competing in the high jump, long jump and 100 meter hurdles events. The senior enjoys the variety of challenges those events provide.
“I like how each event that I do is really different,” says Griffith. “I think that high jump fits for me because it’s something that’s really competitive. I like how each competition you have a goal for yourself. It’s really hard to reach that goal, but once you do, it’s really satisfying to accomplish that.”
Griffith had a successful junior year qualifying for the Masters Meet in the high jump, one of only two Royal athletes to ever compete at that meet. This season, the 18-year old is aiming to take it a step further by qualifying at the state level as a high jumper, a goal the Royals captain is determined to achieve.
“Sara is an amazing athlete who loves track and field, and is one of the hardest working athletes I’ve ever worked with,” says Rosary track and field head coach, Jen Murphy. “Her teammates love her because she works hard and encourages them, especially the younger girls, a testament to how dedicated she is to her sport and her team.”
The transition for Griffith into track and field has forced her to face challenges rooted in confidence, finding that inner strength and believing in herself.
“A lot of challenges I’ve faced, especially for high jump, I have to think to myself, ‘I can do this,’ and not over think it and not be intimidated by the height,” says Griffith.
In her final year as a Royal, Griffith feels she will miss not only competing with her friends and teammates, but against athletes she’s met over the years from other schools.
“It’s going to be hard not to compete against them next year,” says Griffith of her opponents.
The Whittier resident serves the Rosary community through Campus Ministry, planning retreats and masses as well as serving as a Eucharistic minister. Griffith’s faith helps to keep her focused as she competes.
“It helps me overcome the fear that I have when I see the bar,” says Griffith of her faith. “It calms me down, and I really enjoy praying before.”
Griffith would like to continue at the collegiate level while studying forensic science. She is inspired by the success of her private high jump coach, former three-time world record holder and two-time Olympic bronze medalist high jumper, Dwight Stones.
“If you set a goal for yourself, you can’t just get that goal without working hard for it,” says Griffith. “It’s hard, but it’s worth it.”