As the reigning Scottish outdoor champion for Long Jump and recently selected to represent Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014, Sarah Warnock has clearly peaked at the right time. Interestingly however, Sarah was not always set on Long Jump and her choice of specialising in a Track and Field event came very late for one so talented.
“I started athletics because a boy down my road took me along to Musselburgh District Athletics Club, I was about nine at the time. I was pretty fast and loved being outside, but I did a bit of everything for many years. Sprints, Triple Jump, Hurdles, so on and it was only when I started to compete at U20s that I finally picked Long Jump.”
Born and raised in Musselburgh, East Lothian and now aged 22, like most of us Sarah enjoys what she is good at and that was her main motivation for eventually selecting Long Jump. “It’s where my heart is”, she said.
Graduating last summer with a degree in Radiography from Queen Margaret University, Sarah has continued her student job serving ice cream in her local shop, five shifts a week to allow time for training: “With Radiography you have a sporadic shift pattern and working night shifts is obviously not ideal for training. I just don’t want to go to Glasgow for the t-shirt, I want to be proud of my performance and that means a lot of hard work over these winter months and that means putting Radiography on hold.”
However, Sarah’s selection for Team Scotland came as a major surprise: “It’s amazing to get selected and acknowledged for your hard work. It will give me that little extra bit of motivation over the cold winter months but it is honestly a bit of a surprise. Winning the Scottish Championships with a Team Scotland standard was huge, I have never won a Scottish outdoor title and I was not expecting it. That is what propelled me into the selection conversation.”
One thing is for certain next summer, Sarah will not be lonely, with good friends and Edinburgh Athletics Club team mates, Jayne Nisbet and Emma Nuttall (High Jumpers) also earning places in Team Scotland. However, her relationship with fellow long jumper Jade Nimmo is a slightly more competitive one: “We don’t see each other that much but we get on well and we talk at during competitions.”
The friendly rivalry will clearly spur both girls on as they prepare for the biggest event of their lives next summer. The last time they competed was at the 2013 Scottish Senior Championships where Sarah edged-out Jade for the top place on the Scotsoun podium, whilst Jade is the Scottish record holder. Both are now in contention for a place in the 2014 Glasgow British Athletics Intentional Match on 25th January at the Emirates Arena which would give them a taste of home support an an indication of early season form.
You can follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahWarnock05
Photo Credit: Mark Shearman