Sarah graduated from Stanwood High School in 1991. There she participated in track and field and swimming. She attended Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) and was on the swim team and later joined the crew program, and was on the 1992 Women’s four Pacific Coast Rowing Championship team. Rowing next for the University of California Santa Barbara, she was selected Varsity Women’s Crew Most Valuable and in 1993 was selected for the regional U.S. Rowing Identification Camp.
In 1995, she attended the University of Massachusetts (UMass) on an athletic scholarship, and was invited to the ’95 U-23 World Championship Camp earning her first National Team spot. Representing the U.S. at the Nations’ Cup in Holland, she placed third in the women’s two. Later that year, she suffered a horrible accident nearly de-railing her Olympic hopes. Then, following a practice at the U.S. Championships in Syracuse, her spine was punctured by an oncoming shell, which required surgery for her to be able to walk again and continue rowing.
At UMass, she was an NCAA Silver Medalist in ’97 in the Varsity 8+ and two-time Atlantic 10 Champion in ’96 and ’97. In 2010, she was the first rower inducted into the UMass Sports Hall of Fame. She was a member of the U.S. National Team from 1997-2004, competing for Team USA at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney in the women’s eight, and the 2004 Olympics in Athens where she competed in pairs.
She won gold medals in fours and eights at the 1999 and 2000 Nationals, and participated in six World Championships, capturing silver medals in eights in ’98 and ’99. She competed in 36 international races for World Cup and World Championships including 8 World Cup finals.
After completing her rowing career, she served as Director of Rowing at Lake Stevens Rowing Club and later served as Varsity Assistant Coach and Director of Operations at Clemson University.