Name: Sara Shepherd
Occupation: Center Supervisor – City of Tualatin Parks & Recreation
Local Team: Tualatin Hills Barracudas
When I think about something that is so very important to me and continues to have a profound influence on my life, one word comes to mind: swimming.
I was born and grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and started swimming competitively at the age of seven. I started out with the local YMCA, swam for summer teams and for a private club, the Atlantis Aquatic Club, throughout middle and high school. I met my best friends on Atlantis, and had some of the best times of my life during those years. I then attended and swam at Penn State University, where I was named Captain my senior year, and was fortunate to be a part of two Big Ten Championship teams (2002, 2005). The win in 2002 was my freshman year, and the first title in Penn State Women’s Swimming & Diving history. I am such a proud Penn Stater. I am thankful for my experiences there, in and out of the pool; they helped shape the person I am today.
After my collegiate swimming career was over, my competitive spirit stayed strong and I continued to swim and started to compete in triathlons and running races. I thought that I might take some time away from the pool after college, but as it turned out, I never really left. In 2010 I competed in my first Masters swim meet, and at that moment I was hooked all over again. I found out about local records and Top Ten National Rankings, and started to go after them. A goal I had when I started competing again was to achieve a #1 ranking in a short course yards event in my age group. It took nine years, but at last year’s Spring Nationals in Mesa, Arizona, I placed first in the 200 IM in my age group. That time held up for my first #1 short course yards ranking. It was such a great feeling, and really made all my hard work and training worth it.
When I’m not swimming, you can find me outside running, biking, hiking, camping, going on adventures with friends and family, and enjoying all the amazing things the beautiful state of Oregon has to offer. I have quite a ways to go on my Oregon bucket list! I also love to travel, take pictures, scrapbook, spend time with my family, and last but certainly not least, eat good food J
Thank you for letting me share a little more about myself with you. I absolutely love representing Oregon Masters Swimming. Swimming is my passion, and I am looking forward to many, many more years in the pool!