The effort that Sarah Perdue put into her Kimball High School experience showed in her accomplishments in sports and in the classroom.
Perdue was a three-sport athlete for all four of her years at Kimball High and was a team leader for all of her sports. Her efforts earned her Kimball High’s Athlete of the Year award on top of her accomplishments in track and field, soccer, and golf.
“It could be pretty difficult at times with after-school practices, especially during golf season, because we have to drive to the golf course and back, so it can go pretty late,” she said. “As soon as I got home from practice, I would start my homework and just be diligent to maintain my GPA. It could be pretty overwhelming at times.”
It was never more than she could handle, though. She maintained a 4.5 GPA, taking Advanced Placement courses in world history, English, U.S. history, physics, Spanish, biology, U.S. government and calculus. That helped get her into U.C. Berkeley, where she will study biology with the goal of getting into medical school. She knows she will become a doctor after that, but isn’t sure what her medical specialty will be yet.
Her sports experience was marked by individual and team accomplishments. Because of COVID-19, she missed her senior track and field season, when she would have had a chance to make a third trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet to compete in the 300-meter hurdles.
Winning the Valley Oak League gold medal in that event two years in a row is among her favorite memories, and advancing to the section meet both years inspired her for the next season.
“The Masters track and field meet was awesome, getting to see so many athletes that are going to advance to state and be super, super competitive in their events,” she said.
She and her teammates — Jordyn Gleaton, Talyn Steffens and Olivia Gregory — also won the VOL gold medal last year in the 4x400-meter relay.
On the golf team, Perdue was part of a squad that made the SJS Division 3 tournament four years in a row, keeping up a seven-year streak of Kimball girls golfers advancing to the division level. She also played a year of junior varsity soccer and three years of varsity soccer. As a senior defender this past season, she helped guide the Jaguars to their first playoff appearance since 2016.
“At Kimball, I was really grateful to be given the opportunity to play on the varsity athletic teams for as long as I did,” she said. “It was a great experience to play against high-level teams in a really competitive environment.
“It allowed me to make more friends, branch out, and have different friend groups going from the golf team to the soccer team to the track team. I feel like I got to know a lot of people that I might not have known on campus otherwise because of the sports I played.”
Along the way, she was happy to become a role model for younger athletes.
“Definitely being a senior is a different experience on a sports team because you do have all of the younger athletes that look up to you,” she said. “It’s really important to teach them about teamwork, how to be humble and respectful, but competitive at the same time.”
Kimball High didn’t have its usual awards night, so Perdue learned about her award in a way that will still be a cherished memory.
“What our school did was put a slideshow on the school website with all of the awards that people were getting,” she said, adding that once it was posted, she and her parents started scrolling through.
“Then we got to the slide that said I got Athlete of the Year and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was very surprised. It was a cool moment to be with my parents and be excited about getting that recognition.”