Off and running

Sarah Cooke’s “day job” is being a top-notch student at Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts.  But in the afternoons and on weekends, she’s building a statewide reputation as a future star in cross country track.   Sarah won the South Carolina Cross Country Championships in the bantam division (ages 9-10), beating the second-place finisher by more than a minute.   She was the first-place female finisher in the Hilton Head Island Bridge Run in October and the Hilton Head Island Marathon in February.   Parents Bob and Kerri Cooke say that as Sarah gets older, she will begin competing in regional events, and in seventh grade, she will be eligible for the varsity track team at Hilton Head Island High, which is already a state powerhouse.    Hilton Head Island High Cross Country Coach Bill Wrightson says that Sarah sometimes shows up for his team’s practices and “more than holds her own.”   Sarah says that although she is super-competitive, she’s also enjoying herself.  “I like the rhythm,” she says.