Sarah Spain is an espnW columnist, a SportsCenter Anchor for Chicago’s ESPN 1000 and a reporter for ESPNChicago.com. But her career in sports began long before that. Sarah was a decorated three-sport athlete in high school, as she played basketball and field hockey while running track & field. Spain went on to attend Cornell, where she was a heptathlete and co-captain of the track & field team. She graduated with distinction in all subjects and was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Golden Key National Honor Society (top 15-percent of her class). She was a member of the 400 Club, honoring Varsity athletes with a semester GPA of at least 4.0 and she earned the Blanford Award for the Varsity Track & Field senior who scored the most career points.
What impact has Title IX had on you?
Spain: A snapshot of me at age 12: six feet tall, towering over all the boys, braces, frizzy curly hair, no game and absolutely no style. It’s safe to say that without sports I would’ve been a totally insecure, socially awkward mess. Instead, I gained tremendous confidence from my success playing USTA tennis tournaments, dominating the shorties in junior high hoops, tearing it up on the field hockey field and beating all the boys on the track.
As I got older, I learned the benefits of being on a team. I learned that being a natural leader is no good unless you make sure the people you’re leading want to listen to you. Hard work resulted in better play, better stats and more wins. Once I got on the court or the track it didn’t matter whether I had makeup or boys or clothes figured out. Being successful in sports and in class gave me enough confidence to get through all the other stuff. And the good news, I’ve finally got most everything else figured out by now (though my hair is still a mess most days). Continue reading