HOWELL, MI--(Marketwired - Jul 1, 2016) - For Sarah Boyle, the idea of competing in the Olympics and representing Team USA has been a lifelong dream. On Independence Day, she will take one step closer to making it a reality. On July 4th in Eugene, Ore., Boyle, the women's head cross country coach at Cleary University, will race against the country's fastest runners in the 3000-meter steeplechase for a chance to compete at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
"The road to the Olympic trials hasn't been easy, but reaching my goal is validation to never stop chasing your dreams," said Boyle. "Despite qualifying times in the half marathon for the marathon trials the past two years, opportunities to compete at the Olympic trials were denied. Those disappointments didn't stop me from trying again; rather they fueled my commitment to train harder and ultimately helped me get to Eugene this year.
"This journey began during spring track season at Cleary, when on a whim I signed up for the steeplechase at Hillsdale College, despite not running in a competitive steeplechase event since 2009. I had not jumped over anything in seven years, and I was only two years removed from having my first child. Despite the odds, I finished the race 18 seconds faster than my previous personal record. That's when I started to believe that I had a chance."
Boyle added, "I am more determined than ever, and excited for the opportunity to race for a spot on Team USA. I appreciate the support from my Cleary family, and hope my journey serves as inspiration for my Cleary runners to fight through the physical and mental barriers that try to stop them from reaching their goals."
"At Cleary, we are committed to building great, and Sarah is a perfect example of what we want and hope for from all of our faculty, staff and students," said Jayson Boyers, president of Cleary University. "Sarah is building great at Cleary with a nationally recognized, award winning women's cross-country program and she is building great on the track as a world-class athlete. Sarah is going into the trials as a bit of an underdog, and as a small business school competing with larger, more recognizable university brands, we fully appreciate her position. The fuel that will drive Sarah to defy the odds this Independence Day is the same fuel that drives Cleary to continue building a great university with world-class education programs, successful athletic teams and business strong students. Sarah has the full support of the Cleary community, and we couldn't be more proud of her."
Boyle has coached Cleary's women's cross-country team since it started in 2012. During the past five years, the program has two second-place team finishes at Nationals and a fifth-place finish as well. The team has two individual national champions, five All-Americans and numerous Academic All-American awards. Boyle also won the United States Collegiate Athletic Association coaches award in 2014, the first year Cleary finished second as a team.
About Cleary University
Founded in 1883, the foundation of Cleary University is business. Cleary University is committed to its mission to enrich students' lives through the knowledge, skills, and credentials that advance careers.
Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Cleary University is a specialized business university, providing practical, project-based education enabling an immediate alumni contribution to employers, families, and communities. Cleary offers a full service campus in Livingston County and satellite campuses throughout Michigan, as well as online degree options. For more information visit cleary.edu.