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Sarah Grodin attending prestigious West Point leadership program

June 7, 2018

Sarah Grodin, a junior at Monticello High School, is spending this week at West Point as part of the prestigious Summer Leaders Experience. She is one of 1,100 students chosen, from an estimated 6,000 applicants from around the country, for the two sessions at the military academy for this highly competitive program.Junior Sarah Grodin leaps over the water pit during a steeplechase race

Sarah, a cross country and track athlete who also plays alto saxophone, Alpine skiing and attends the New Visions health science program at BOCES, said she became interested in the Summer Leaders Experience when she decided she may possibly attend West Point for college.

And because she loves a challenge.

Take, for example, her track season this year. Sarah decided to run in the 2000 meter steeplechase race. It is lengthy at about 1.25 miles, but there are also five wooden barriers to hurdle and a water pit to get through.

“I liked the challenge,” said Sarah.

This was a new race to her, even though she’s been running varsity since she was in eighth grade. She usually runs anything from the 400 meter to the two mile, “wherever the team needs me.”

The steeplechase, though, added a few obstacles for her. She handled them. In her first year participating in this race, Sarah was the Section 9 and OCIAA County champion. She also broke the Monticello High School record.

“Coach Rick Stern was so supportive of me,” said Sarah, who also gives kudos to her parents, Heather and Brian Grodin of Wurtsboro.

At West Point, Sarah said she is looking forward to getting a taste of what attending the academy would be. A typical day at the Summer Leaders Experience includes physical training before 6 a.m., classes, military training, athletics and social events before lights out at 11 p.m., according to the program website.

The application process started for Sarah in January. It included gathering transcripts, test scores, a list of extracurricular activities and recommendations from her high school personnel. She was thrilled to be accepted.