Running to success

Senior accomplishes goal of becoming Division 1 athlete


Photo courtesy of Sadie Millard

Senior Sadie Millard makes her first stride after starting a race at the state track meet last year. Millard continues to shine in this event, bringing up the rear for the Wildcats. “In order to become a student-athlete at the next level, I’ve really focused on mental and physical preparation,” Millard said. “It’s important to work with coaches and trainers in order to condition your body to get what you want it to do.”

Camille O'Neill, Sports Director

Most days, you can find senior Sadie Millard at track practice or training in the gym. One of Millard’s goals has been to become a Division 1 athlete. 

To achieve that dream, Millard has shown a lot of dedication throughout her career. When she isn’t at meets or practice, she’s constantly mentally and physically preparing herself at home to keep herself in shape. She works with mental trainers as well as coaches to ensure she is taking the right steps to be the best athlete she can be. 

That dream came true when she committed to Wichita State University to continue her academic and track careers. She has been doing track since her freshman year and has been playing volleyball since the age of 5. Her success in the sport of volleyball and the conditioning involved with it led to many successes in track over the last four years, including qualifying for the State track meet multiple times.

When it came down to making her decision, she chose Wichita State over the University of Nebraska-Lincoln because she loved the opportunities she would get in track as well as academically. She also wanted to go further from home. Although she has had to sacrifice and dedicate a lot of time to sports, it was all worth it in the end. 

“I’ve spent half of my life doing sports and working outside of sports with trainers and coaches,” Millard said. “It takes a lot of sacrifices you have to make with friends and family to be good at your sport.”

Millard’s recruiting journey started at the end of her sophomore year when she started receiving offers from schools to play volleyball. She attended numerous academic visits as well as volleyball camps to see what each school had to offer. In the middle of her senior year, she decided that she wanted to attend a bigger school because of the academic opportunities. After much consideration, she pursued track instead of volleyball because she wasn’t getting the volleyball offers she wanted. 

Millard competes in a variety of events for the track team, including the 400-meter dash, long jump, and 200-meter dash, as well as several relay events. In college, Millard will compete in the heptathlon, a two-day event that consists of seven events: Hurdles, 200-meter dash, long jump, high jump, javelin, shot put and 800 meters.

She went out for track freshman year because she wanted to try something new, and it would help her train for volleyball. From that point on, Millard’s love for track and field has grown into a passion of hers and she has progressed immensely since she started. Her coaches are very proud of her and believe that she has the skills on and off the track to succeed at the next level. She manages both school and track very well, and she also has soft skills, such as time management, determination and perseverance that are essential to a student athlete’s success.

“Sadie will have incredible success at the next level,” assistant track coach Michael Bowker said. “She’s the best athlete that I have ever coached. She obviously has the physical skills to do well in college but her work ethic and drive to want to be better will take her to another level.”

Teammates also see different attributes in Millard that will allow her to be successful in her future endeavors. Senior teammate Alina Ropski sees Millard as a leader on the team who is good at what she does, but also humble about it.

“She’s very good at time management and she’s really good at adapting and changing the way she does things based on the situation,” Ropski said. “She’s not scared to try new events, and she always has a good mindset about it.”

Millard will continue to prepare for college competition while also looking to finish her high school season strong. She hopes to leave a legacy behind at Millard West that includes postseason championships both individually and as a team.