Salisbury University senior Sydney Ruckel has been an athletic force* since high school and continues prove athletic and academic excellence at the collegiate level.
Ruckel was a seven-time state qualifier in her high school's track and field program and cross country. The Sea Gull recently broke her second and third university records, receiving additional athletic and academic honors.
Ruckel broke SU’s indoor 3,000-meter run record during the 2020 indoor season. She broke the indoor 5,000-meter run record this year, surpassing the old record by nearly 14 seconds with a time of 18:24.74 in the Indoor South Region Qualifier.
Ruckel broke SU’s 10,000-meter record with a time of 38:13.94 in the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Coach Jim Jones said the runner's “intensity, focus and competitive drive” led to her breaking the 10,000-meter record.
“[The] record book has gotten good over the last 20 years, so breaking a record here at Salisbury means a lot," Jones said. "Sydney has been on a good tier over her career.”
Ruckel earned Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference track and field honors March 21, followed by U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All Academic Honors. Coach Jim Jones described Ruckel as “a testament of what a student athlete is.”
The senior said her success can be accredited to her dedication, reminding herself of goals she set and “pushes through any lack of motivation.”
“Coming up on the finish line and seeing my time breaking [the record] was one of the best feelings I've ever had racing,” Ruckel said.
Jones predicted the athlete’s record-breaking 10,000-meter run a week prior to the Myrtle Beach meet and said he hopes “she will own most of the distance records, indoors and outdoors,” when her career is over.
Ruckel said she “hopes to go for the outdoor [five-kilometer] record ... compete well at the outdoor conference meet and possibly bring home another win or two.”
By HAILEY DEARES
Featured image courtesy of Ben Lausch.