Wilmette, Sports

Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Sophie Garrou, New Trier track and field

Sophie Garrou is a recent New Trier graduate and state-qualifying pole vaulter. Garrou will compete with Chapman University starting this fall.

1. How did you first get involved with the pole vault?

I used to be gymnast and went to Wilmette gymnastics for like four years, and I believe one time I met coach from Evanston, who came up to mom and said I should really try pole vaulting. I quit gymnastics in fourth grade, and in sixth grade a family friend pole valuted and I went to try it. The (pole vault) coach ended up being that coach from Evanston.

2. What do you enjoy about it?

I definitely liked that it was an individual event. I only had done individual events like gymnastics. I like that you can physically see your own progress, literally see how high the bar is. I was playing field hockey as a goalie but really enjoyed how technical pole vault was. Also the community, everybody knows each other in pole vault. I probably know every pole vaulter in the state.

3. What is key to pole vaulting success?

I just love to try wacky stuff. When someone was like, ‘You should try pole vault,’ I thought OK why not. When I started, I thought ‘I want to be really good at this.’ Pole vaulting is incredibly technical and takes so long, sort of like putting together a puzzle. And now here I am years later.

4. What are you doing this coming school year?

I am going to Chapman University in Orange, California, and am on the track team there. My sister goes to Chapman, so I have experience visiting the campus. I know the pole vault coach there. He is my (New Trier) teammate’s uncle. When I realized that, I reached out to (my teammate).

5. What is your favorite thing to do off the track?

Pretty much just go out and get food with friends. I really like Raising Cane’s.

6. What is your dream job?

I would love to be like a creative director for a sports team. Obviously I really enjoy sports and I really want to go into design. So being able to do some marketing or creating jerseys or fan stuff would be a pretty cool opporunity.

7. If you tried another sport, what would it be?

I think it would be pretty cool to do volleyball. I’m a little bit too short for volleyball, but maybe a libero or something.

8. If you’re in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?

Definitely Dot’s (Homestyle) Pretzels and then an Arizona Arnold Palmer.

9. What is something people don’t know about you?

I was born on Christmas. That’s something that is kind of random.

10. How are you going to remember your senior season?

It definitely had its ups and downs. I started out the season with a back injury, which was pretty persistent. I had a hard time coming back from it. I ended the season with a sprained ankle one week before sectionals. It definitely taught me a lot about going through injuries. And waiting and resting and not practicing showed me how much I wanted it. When I didn’t have it, I wanted to get back so bad.

And then being with friends my last year. It was our biggest team to go to state in like three years. It was really awesome to have a bunch of friends down at state.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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