For first-year cross country runner Sarah Driggers, switching from being a swimmer to cross country is a decision she’s happy she made.
“I was a swimmer for eight years,” Driggers said. “I did club team back in Greenville and then I was also on the swim team in high school. I started running in December of last year. So, I’m a walk-on for the cross country team this year. I’ve always been a part of athletics and I just wanted to continue with cross country.”
Driggers, a Greenville, SC native was an avid swimmer before making the transition to cross country in December of 2018.
Driggers, the younger sister of Emma Driggers, said her sister inspired her to become a part of FMU’s cross country team.
“My sister is a senior on the cross country team here at Francis Marion, so I’ve seen how much fun she’s had running here and it just made me really want to be a part of a team, and the cross country team is something that seemed really fun to do,” Driggers said. “We did a lot of running with swimming, so I was pretty ok at it. Then I was like, ‘I want to keep doing it.’”
Driggers said she and her older sister have always been close and keep each other motivated in a variety of ways.
“When it came to athletics, I was in swimming and she was running, but we would always like go to each other’s meets and be there for each other,” Driggers said. “It’s been really good this year with her. She keeps me motivated, we both wake each other up in the morning and make sure we’re going to practice at the same time with meets and everything. If we pass each other we cheer each other on, and we look out for each other, and make sure we stay on top of it and keep everything going and stay motivated.”
Driggers, a member of FMU honors, is an elementary education major with a concentration in social studies. She hopes to teach in her hometown after graduation and eventually earn her master’s degree in middle level education.
Attending FMU was not Driggers first choice, but it is one she is happy she made.
Driggers has enjoyed attending school with her older sister, the friendships she has already made at FMU and the motivation her cross country team and friends in the honors program give her as she transitions into college life.
“I love the small class sizes,” Driggers said. “I like that the professors know my name. I like that I can be walking towards class and always see someone that I know and can say “hi” to; so, I like the small atmosphere but that its not super small where I feel like there’s not a lot of other people here.”
Driggers said her biggest accomplishment unrelated to athletics is being a recipient of the Teaching Fellows Scholarship, a scholarship program that provides up to 200 outstanding SC high school seniors a scholarship for all four years of college.
Driggers’ advice to incoming student athletes is to be flexible and not get too stressed about changes.
“I would tell incoming student athletes to come in and be flexible,” Driggers said. “Don’t come in and think that everything is going to fall right into place. You need to be able to adjust your schedule and be open to new experiences and understand that it’s ok if things don’t go perfectly.”