“Sarah never gives up!”
Sophomore Sarah Moll has the work ethic and attention to detail that every athlete should strive for. In many ways, she is the prototypical underdog yet quietly has stunning successes that inspire all who know her.
Sophomore Swimmer Sarah Moll
Sarah is a walk-on which is a term that often comes with many misleading connotations. But in her case, it means that Sarah turned down scholarship money at other schools to be a part of the Lady Razorback team. For her it means accepting all the normal demands of swimming in the SEC, but with the additional pressure of catching up. For our team it means that we have someone who will fight against all odds to be a part of us. “Sarah never gives up!” said Captain Kristen Thibodeaux, “She always finishes everything she starts and does so with 110%.”
Although swimming is often seen as an individual sport, teammates are crucial in getting each other through the rigors of training at this level. In her first season with us, Sarah got a lot of strength from fellow walk-on and senior Irene Conn. “Irene made me feel so comfortable and always gave me the motivation that I needed to go on. I hope that I can eventually do the same thing for younger swimmers.” Sarah didn’t have to wait long to get her wish. Freshman Juliette Burks reports that “Her drive to push is encouraging and it fills me with so much optimism for my own swimming. She has an amazing work ethic and shows everyone that hard work pays off. Just look at her improvement last year in the 200 fly!”
What Juliette is referring to is an unheard of 20 second improvement in a race where 1 or 2 seconds is a major accomplishment. Last year at the University of Kansas, Sarah was swimming the last meet of her season and was hoping to hit best times in the 100 and 200 Butterfly. Unfortunate for her, the two races were only about 20 minutes apart and the much more grueling 200 was going to be her final race.
Disappointingly, her first swim was not what she was hoping for. “After the 100, I lost all my confidence for a few minutes. I had worked so hard all season and really had a lot riding on that race.” But almost immediately, Sarah’s determination took over. She had to show her coaches and teammates that she could bounce back from all obstacles. With remarkable composure, Sarah attacked the beginning of her swim. “During the very first length, I looked up and saw 15 teammates standing at the end of my lane screaming for me. That gave me such strength that I knew something amazing was about to happen.” It is doubtful that she could have had any idea of just how amazing it would be. Her final time was a full 20 seconds better than her lifetime best entering college and a full 30 seconds better than her first attempt that season! “I was so happy and filled with pride about being part of this team. I have such faith in this program and the inspiration that I get from my teammates. Coach James’program is broad enough for both me and Olympians” referring to teammate and 2004 Olympian Zsuzsa Csobanki.
That was then end of her swimming season but certainly not her training and academic year. While maintaining her high academic standards, Sarah trained all spring and summer and looks great so far this season. Head Coach Anne James: “I am so impressed with Sarah’s willingness to take on the huge challenge of competing in the SEC. She constantly impresses with her ability to be here every day working so hard.”
This season looks to be a tremendous one for Sarah. The combination of her work ethic and inspiration will spread throughout the team and her contributions will thus be limitless. Keep an eye on Lady Razorback Sarah Moll!