Our campus, located on 427 acres in the foothills of Ojai, has the kind of rugged, tough terrain and weather that makes for challenging cross-country training—and that develops successful distance runners. Our cross country team has another advantage: the School attracts students who already exhibit the mental toughness and willingness to push beyond their comfort zone that’s essential for the sport, whether they’re serious runners or just getting started.
The season kicks off with the Ojai Invitational Cross-Country Meet, featuring some of the top runners in Ventura, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara Counties and progresses with several other invitationals and league meets. Both our girls’ and boys’ teams are perennial contenders for the league championship; in the last eight years, our boys' and girls' teams have sent 12 teams to the State Championship Meet in Fresno. In two of the last three years, Thacher has been the only school in the county to send both of its teams to States.
Members of Thacher's cross-country teams have gone on in recent years to compete on squads at Amherst, Colorado College, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Davidson, Stanford, Colby, Tulane, Vassar, and Vanderbilt (where Kristen Findley CdeP 2009 recently set the university record for the women's 1500 before going on to compete professionally out of Austin, Texas).
Sarah loves running and coaching both cross country and track and field at Thacher. In high school she ran both cross country and track and field and was captain of the track team. In college, she ran 11 out of 12 varsity seasons of cross country, as well as indoor and outdoor track and field. She was the captain of her track and field teams, as well as the cross country team her senior year. She held a college record in the 4x800. She has gone on to run five marathons, placing 3rd in the Newport Rhode Island marathon.