When she was younger Sydney Larkin tried figure skating, dance, volleyball and swimming (which isn’t surprising considering her father is the head coach of the St. Xavier swimming and diving team that has won 27 straight state championships), but none were “in my heart,” she said.
Once she got to Assumption, though, Larkin found her passion, and it was on pathways and pavement. Now a senior Larkin is a standout runner, both in cross country (she was 17th in Class 3-A at State last year) and track (she finished third in the 3,200-meter run at the state meet last spring), for the Rockets.
The Courier-Journal: How did you get started running?
I did the camp in my seventh grade year here, for Assumption. I hadn’t run before then. I was swimming and I didn’t like it that much, but I wanted to get involved in something else, and ever since the camp I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to run when I’m in high school.’ So that kind of started it.
When did you realize it was for you?
A: Freshman year at the Tiger Run, that’s when I realized it was something I wanted to do.
It was my first actual race and I loved the feeling of crossing the finish line, it just felt good.
What do you like about running?
I like the team a lot, and I like the way it makes me feel. With school and stuff I find it easier to focus when I run and it’s easy to get your stress out. Practice is always sometimes nice to go to if you have a stressful day to just go and run.
What do you like about your team?
I think what’s different about our team is it’s not really about the individual when we race. …When we race and we’re hurting we kind of think about each other versus, oh, ‘I’m not racing well.’ We all try to keep a positive mentality and try to run as a team.
Postseason starts next weekend, what’s the goal for the rest of the season?
To win state as a team.
What are some of your hobbies?
I like to play guitar. I’m also a swim coach (at Hurstbourne Country Club). I love coaching.
How long have you been playing guitar?
I had my grandpa teach me some cords in eighth grade, but this year is the first year I’m taking a class on how to actually play.
So you like music, do you listen to it when you run?
If I run on my own I do listen to my iPod, but I normally listen to music before I race to pump me up.
Before your last race what was the song you listened to to pump yourself up?
Eye of the Tiger (the ‘Rocky III’ theme by Survivor).
Do you know where you’re going to college yet?
Yes, the University of Tennessee-Martin.
What are you going to study there?
Why special ed?
Because I have some learning differences and I know teachers have made a difference in my life and I want to make a difference in others.
SYDNEY LARKIN UP CLOSE
Sports: Cross country & track.
Student-athlete: Sydney, whose favorite subjects are choir and guitar, has a 3.97 GPA. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club at Assumption as well as the President of the Advanced Choir and is also a Peer Leader.
Family: Sydney, 17, lives with her mother, Melissa, and father, Todd, as well as her three younger siblings: Zach, 15, who is a freshman cross country runner at St. X; Grace, 13, and Andrew, 10.
Assumption coach Barry Haworth: What I really have grown to appreciate about Sydney is that she’s a very positive, hard-working girl, who, when you put her in the middle of any group, that group will just light up. She has energy, it’s positive energy, and it’s just constant encouragement you get from the girl to her teammates. She’s as selfless as they come. She’s also someone who is incredibly focused on trying to be as good as she can be.