By JAMIE MAESE
Most student-athletes are sucked into a world of nonstop practices, conditioning, games, interviews, homework and spending time in the learning center.
Pima Community College sophomore cross-country runner Sarrah Boughan juggles all that while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, managing an internship and having a social life.
“It gets kind of crazy trying to balance everything, I definitely have to prioritize at times,” Boughan said. “The stress gets to me but as long as I still have some time to have fun, I think balancing work, school and athletics builds me into a stronger individual.”
Boughan works in a paid internship at an engineering company, has a full school schedule and has placed at almost every cross-country meet.
Her major is mechanical engineering and she would like to find a career in an engineering firm. She chose mechanical because it will allow her to work at many different places.
When she isn’t so busy, she enjoys hanging out with friends and playing basketball or any other active pursuit. She sometimes draws, and enjoys eating one of her favorite foods — ice cream.
She also has a secret talent for hula hooping.
“I sucked at it when I was a kid, then in high school I picked it up again,” she said. “I would mess around with it and learned some cool tricks.”
Many of her teammates speak very highly of Boughan, calling her a team player.
“She is a devoted runner and always trying to improve after every meet,” freshman Raelene Yocuppicio said. “Somehow she manages to juggle everything going on.”
Boughan wasn’t always a top runner.
“I wasn’t great at running in middle school but because my coach made me feel like I was, I continued to work hard,” she said. “I have improved tremendously over the years.”
She wants to continue improving as an athlete and as an individual.
The women’s team placed third in the NJCAA Region I Championships in Glendale on Oct. 27. Boughan earned all-region honorable mention after finishing 14th with a time of 20 minutes, 46.1 seconds.
The next race will the NJCAA national cross-country championship on Nov. 8 in Lubbock, Texas.
“I really want this team to perform as one of the best at nationals,” Boughan said. “To do that, I have to step my game up as an individual or my teammates need to push past me.”
Her teammates sometimes seem to find a comfortable position racing behind her, she said, and she knows they can do better.
“I don’t have any superstitions that I believe in, like lucky underwear,” Boughan said, “but I do like to eat pasta the night before and drink a lot of water to prepare myself.”
Once the season finishes, Boughan wants to transfer to a four-year college and continue running in her future.
She advises incoming runners to put in the work and always look for ways to improve.
“Every little thing adds up, whether it’s choosing to bike to work or saying ‘no’ to a doughnut being offered to you,” she said. “All choices have consequences, including laziness.”