Tierney Leads XC Team With a 9-0 Record


Delaney Murphy

  On June 20, 2015, Sarah Tierney, then a freshman, stepped up to the starting line at New Balance Outdoor Nationals Track Meet to race the third leg of the 4x800m relay. Four months later, the freshman standout was sidelined with a lingering ankle injury that left her out of competition for the majority of her sophomore year.

  Normally, an injury of this severity would be detrimental to an athlete’s career. In the fall, she sprained her ankle during a soccer game; in the winter, she had a stress fracture and two torn ligaments in her ankle; in the spring, she had another stress fracture in her ankle for overworking. This Fall though Tierney, however, was able to overcome her injury and become the top runner for the Rebels, and even return in better shape than her pre-injury state.

  Coming off a summer of training and injury prevention, junior Sarah Tierney started her first season of Cross Country off strong. Not only did she finish first in the Walpole Labor Day Road Race female division, but she also won both meets for the Rebels, with impressive times of 19:57 against Needham and Braintree on September 7 and 19:33 against Framingham, Newton North, and Wellesley on September 14.

  “I was excited because I haven’t run a race since freshman year,” said Tierney. “I’m  really  happy  to  be  back running and racing and being part of a team again.”

  During the spring, Tierney worked on her own to rest, stretch, and ice her ankle, slowly but surely to ensure healing.

  “Not running again was never a possibility for me,” said Tierney. “Being injured made me more determined to do better and enjoy the sport even more than I did before.”

“During the beginning of the summer I was just getting back to running,” said Tierney. “As summer went on I ran farther and more often.”

“I sometimes felt [frustrated] because I wanted to run and race but I couldn’t,” added Tierney. “When I thought my ankle was better and the doctors told me I was cleared to do physical activity, I got injured again.”

  Despite not having the sophomore year she was hoping for, Tierney refused to give up.

Girl’s Cross Country and Track Coach Conor Cashman said, “Sarah’s resiliency and work ethic in managing such a difficult injury embodies the spirit of what makes this team work. She knows how valuable it is to be healthy and never takes a race for granted — a commitment and a focus that extends to the rest of the team,” said Cashman.

  Sarah has had a major effect on the team, who are now 9-0 and ranked second in the Division 3 conference behind   Hopkinton, according to a poll by Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association.