— Former Cooperstown Central School student and athlete Sarah Groff missed a bronze finish in the women’s triathlon at the Olympic Games by just 10 seconds. She may have been “heartbroken” with her oh-so-close-to-making-it-to-the-podium finish, but we believe there is reason to celebrate the accomplishment.
Sarah surged back into contention at the end of the competition after dropping back from the leading pack, just missing going down during a crash in the bike portion of the course and according to her father, running the best race of her career.
“She ran a 33.52 10 K, which is her fastest by 15 seconds,” he wrote in an email.
The London Games marked the 30-year-old’s Olympic debut, and we agree with Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, who called her accomplishments “amazing.”
“To be the fourth-best at anything in the world is pretty incredible,” Katz said.
Sarah, from Hanover, N.H., told the press her goal entering the race was to be in contention with 1,000 meters left.
She met that goal, so she should be proud.
The Olympic Games are over, but Sarah is not done competing.
Her father said she is getting right back to training because she is preparing for events in Japan, China and New Zealand in September. Good luck, Sarah.
Long term, Sarah’s father said there is already talk of the Brazil Olympics in 2016. Now there is a woman with determination.
She has already proven hard work and not giving up pay off.
In early 2010, Groff fractured her sacrum in a bike accident. She continued training and refractured it during a race in Kenya in November 2010. She had to re-learn how to run, and continue to train through her injuries. Only 10 months later, she qualified for the Olympics.
We hope she can pull a repeat and try for another Olympic medal. We would also like to thank her father, Jerry, for sending us updates from London. We, along with many of our readers, have enjoyed following Sarah’s journey.
Sarah attended CCS through her sophomore year. As a high school student she ran cross country, track and swam.
She finished school at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and then went to Middlebury College in Vermont, where she was a Division III All-American in the freestyle.
With Sarah’s fourth-place effort, the U.S. joins Australia as the only nations with a top-four women’s finisher in each Olympic Games triathlon since the sport made its debut in 2000.