Robinson earns All-America honors in two sports

Courtesy of Sarah Robinson
Sarah Robinson ranks among the best distance runners and soccer players in the nation.

Sarah Robinson is not only a standout soccer player and distance runner – the Los Altos Hills resident may also be a trailblazer for earning national honors in both sports this month.

“She’s likely the only person in the country, I feel pretty confident, to be an All-American in cross country – based on her finish at NXN (the Nike Cross Nationals) – and soccer at the same time,” said PattiSue Plumer, Robinson’s cross-country and track coach at Gunn High. “It’s rather amazing.”

Within days of finishing 11th at the national meet in Portland, Ore., the senior was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Youth Girls All-America Team for the second year in a row. Robinson verbally committed to Stanford University for soccer when she was a sophomore and has played midfield on the under-17 women’s national team.

While she still ranks soccer as her No. 1 sport, running isn’t far behind.

“I do like them both,” Robinson said, “and I think they complement each other well because I get the speed work from soccer and the endurance training from running.”

The humble and hardworking 17-year-old wasn’t able to run for Gunn last fall due to her soccer commitments, but the year away didn’t slow her down this season. Robinson only got faster.

She won the Central Coast Section Division I race in 16 minutes, 59 seconds – the sixth-fastest time ever recorded by a girl on the 2.95-mile course at Crystal Springs. Robinson then placed fourth in the Division I race at state, running a 17:16 on the 3.1-mile course at Fresno’s Woodward Park. Only one girl from the CCS has run faster at the meet.

Robinson’s effort earned her an invitation to the Dec. 7 national meet at the Portland Meadows Race Track, where she ran the 5-kilometer course in 17:51.8.

“The Nike national meet was a great experience. I didn’t really have any goals or expectations going into the meet other than to just have fun with it,” Robinson said. “I finished 11th, making the All-American team, which was really exciting. The field was so strong, so I was pleased with making the All-American team.”

Robinson isn’t playing soccer for Gunn this winter, but she does intend to represent the school in track next spring. That’s good news for the Titans’ track coach.

“She’s one of a kind,” Plumer said. “I feel reasonably certain I may never be privileged to coach someone like her ever again.”

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