Sarah Swan is not your average bear when it comes to Lakehead varsity athletes. The Nepean, Ontario native competed in three different varsity sports for the Thunderwolves in five seaons; three as a Lakehead wrestler, four as a cross country runner, and two as an indoor track athlete.
She competed in cross country running and wrestling from 2003 to 2005 and then cross country and indoor track from 2006 to 2008.
Her accomplishments included a Top 10 OUA Championships placing in Indoor Track, multiple Top 10 finishes at US cross country meets vs. NCAA opponents, and medals at OUA/CIS wrestling meets such as a silver at the Western Open Meet in 2004. She also won six Lakehead Female Athlete of the Week honours; five for cross country and one for indoor track.
Her unique talents also extend to the classroom where she will leave Lakehead with a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Philosophy. This multi-talented student-athlete will bring a positive mind set and boundless enthusiasm to whatever she does in the future.
Name: Sarah Swan
Hometown: Nepean, ON
Program: Mechanical Engineering, with a minor in Philosophy
Sport: Cross Country Running (2003-2008), Wrestling (2003-2005), Indoor Track (2006-2008)
Years as a varsity Lakehead Athlete: 5
1) Lakehead Cross Country Female MVP - 2008
2) Lakehead Indoor Track MVP - 2007
3) Lakehead Cross Country MVP - 2006
4) Lakehead Athlete of the Week: Multiple Occasions in two sports; wrestling and cross country. (Five times for cross country, one for Indoor Track).
Swan on the track for the Wolves!
1) What are your fondest memories as a Lakehead varsity athlete?
Swan: Oh gosh! Iím never ever going to forget the 2006 OUA Cross Country Championships!! It was pouring rain, freezing cold, and there was mud everywhere. Running that course, trampling the grass, blasting through the puddles (lakes) and passing people as they were falling all over the slippery course; it was just so much fun. I loved all the big muddy hills too!! Thatís the way Cross Country Running should be!!!
Iím also going to remember Saturday workouts at Centennial Park in Thunder Bay, and how good residence cafeteria bacon can taste afterwards. Iím sure the route along the river from campus to the college and then on the bike path towards intercity is permanently engraved 100% in my head. And, I hope to remember that Sunday run, this year, that was right after the giant snowfall, and we ran through waist deep untouched powder, it was spectacular!
2) What do you think was your top athletic achievement or performance as a Lakehead Varsity Athlete?
Swan: Track PBs: 1000m Ė 3:04.58, 1500m Ė 4:51.10, 3000m Ė 10:33.67
Having our Cross Country team place 7th out of 15 at the OUA Championships this year was exciting, especially since we didnít even field a team my first two years at Lakehead. Iím also proud of my 36th (out of 100) place finish at the 2006 OUA Cross Country Championships.
At the 2005 Ontario Senior Provincial Wrestling Championships, it turned out the 2004 Olympic Silver medalist was there, and in my weight class! I got to wrestle her (she beat me though!).
3) What did being a Lakehead varsity athlete teach you that will help you in your life after university?
Swan: Time Management!!! Trying to get a degree in Mechanical Engineering while being on a sports team (or two) can sometimes feel a little ridiculous. Iíve had to learn how to set priorities and make hard decisions.
I think being an athlete here has given me a lot of confidence, not just in my athletic abilities, but in other areas of my life as well. Iíve had fun and made good friends. Iíve had the discipline to get to 6:30am practices, and Iíve learned that assignments donít get done at races/meets/tournaments; they need to get done before we leave. Iíve learned that when you fall, you just have to get up and keep going.
4) What are you plans after graduating from Lakehead?
Swan: I definitely plan to follow my teamís progress. Right from when he took over, Iíve had a lot of faith in Kipís (Head Coach Kip Sigsworth) program. Before he came to Lakehead, we hadnít even sent a womenís team to the OUA Cross Country championships. His first year as coach; we sent a team and came 12th. The following two years; we came 9th, then 7th. With Kip as coach, the team is only going to get better, and I really look forward to following their success, and seeing where they go!
For me, Iím going to keep running, but not as often, and there will be more pleasant jogs, and fewer lung bleeding death workouts! I really love 10k road races, so eventually I want to do some more of those. Iíd like to get better at doing chin-ups because theyíre kind of impressive. Career-wise, I donít know where yet, but Iím going to go somewhere, and be an engineer; Iím excited for that. Iíd also like to live in different parts of the world, and see more of it.