BAKER – Next fall, Baker cross country runner Sydney Lamb will not be taking to the Elkhorn Trail outside of Baker City for a run. Rather, she will don a sweatshirt of Carroll College and hit the back roads of Helena, Montana as Lamb has signed a letter of intent to run for the Fighting Saints.
“After visiting the campus and running with the team, I knew it was just the right place for me,” said Lamb.
The journey to Helena started with a soccer dream for Lamb. The plan was to run to stay in shape for an upcoming soccer season.
“I loved playing soccer and thought that would be my sport throughout high school,” she said. “Once I started running, I just fell in love with it. I finally had to make a decision.”
Lamb and her Bulldog teammates ended the regular season competing for a state 4A title. The trip to Eugene added to a long list of memories.
“I loved being on this team,” said Lamb. “Each year was a different dynamic. This year I had to take on more of a leadership role which was scary. I have so many memories of the bus rides and the fun.”
Even this year’s trip to Eugene proved to be a memory.
“It was so rainy and muddy,” Lamb recalled. “We all though we would run our best times and when we finished, everyone had slower times.”
The love of running has also influenced Lamb’s future career goals. An injury and subsequent recovery while attending the Steens Running Camp pushed Lamb towards a career plan in medicine.
“I grew a lot from everything that happened there,” she said. “It was the medical people that helped me that inspired me for what I want in a career.”
Lamb plans on majoring in biology or health care while attending Carroll before entering schooling for physician’s assistant.
Running was not he lone endeavor as a Bulldog. Lamb also tried her hand on the Baker swim team and will continue running on a different scale come track season.
“I really wanted to try everything while in high school,” she said. “I played volleyball for two years and just continually pushed myself to try things.”
It is Lamb’s attitude that first garnered the attention of Carroll College Coach Shannon Flynn.
It is evident that Sydney is willing to put in work and have tremendous energy towards her goals, and those characteristics are going to make a positive contribution to our team,” said Flynn. “She is definitely tough! When she came on her visit, she did one of our hardest runs with the team (up a dirt road that gets quite steep at the end), and she managed it with poise and grit. I can tell she will dive in fully and that she wants to improve, and those characteristics are key on our team.”
Like Lamb, Flynn also grew up in a smaller town and discussed the benefits of a smaller setting.
“We are so excited about Sydney’s commitment at Carroll,” said Flynn. “I think it is going to be a great fit for her athletically and academically.”
The one training tool Lamb will have up her sleeve when she arrives in Helena is training in the cold. Not a fan of the treadmill, Lamb is a professional at layering up and hitting snow covered trails.
“You just need to bundle up and tough it out,” she said.
Also a skier, Lamb can also hit the slopes around Helena and also fulfill her love of hunting and fishing between classes. Lamb said she will also get some backpacking and hiking in while in Helena.
One item she will be looking for is an appropriate coffee shop close to the Carroll campus. A current barista at Baker’s Sorbenots Coffee, Lamb knows her lattes.
As Lamb begins her collegiate career in the fall, she said the opportunity was due to many in her life.
“There are so many people who have helped me get to where I am today,” she said. “Of course, my family have always been super supportive of my running. I can’t even begin to thank them for how much they have contributed to my athletic career. My teammates-every year has been filled with so many miles and memories! I want to especially thank Emma Baeth, Seth Mastrude, Jordan Mills, and Thaddeus Pepera and also Sydney Keller.”
“I want to thank my Soccer coach, Kristen Rushton, for encouraging me in my running,” Lamb continued. “My middle school track coach, Candace Hoskins-Patton, for helping me start my running career and her continued support. Kevin Cassidy-he’s an amazing supporter, and I want to thank him for being there for me and of course Buell Gonzales Jr. – he’s an awesome athletic director and has helped me on my path to college athletics.”
“I also want to thank Brian Cole for putting up with me on long runs,” said a laughing Lamb “I especially want to thank Suzy Cole. She’s so much more than a coach to me. She’s helped me get through multiple injuries, taught me so much about running and life, and I know she’ll always be there for me. I’m so lucky to have had her as a coach for all of these years, I know I wouldn’t be the same runner and person without the profound impact she’s had on my life.”