Prout knows no gear other than ‘all out’ |

Prout knows no gear other than ‘all out’

Whether it’s athletics, academics or just life in general, there’s only one speed Sarah Prout knows how to operate at – all out.

That was true when she was a track and field star hurdler and sprinter for Nevada Union High School, and later when she emerged as a multi-events standout as a freshman at the University of Nevada in 2004.

After that one season at Nevada, however, Prout decided the time had come to move on and try something else. As it turned out, Prout decided to be all that she could be and enlisted in the U.S. Army, with the goal of becoming an airborne medic.

Step one became complete Feb. 10, when she graduated from basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood in St. Robert, Mo., and step two has taken her to Ft. Sam Houston in Texas, where she’s going through a 16-week medical training program. The 20-year-old Grass Valley product is keeping quite busy, according to her father, John Prout.

“She’s says it’s harder than college, but likes it,” he said of Sarah’s training program. “She says everyone is so focused and knows what they want to do, and she enjoys that.”

Her decision was inspired, at least in part, by the tragic experiences of two former classmates and fellow athletes at Nevada Union – Marine Lance Cpl. Adam Strain, who was killed by a sniper in Iraq on Aug. 3, 2005, and of Army Spc. Noah Bailey, who was seriously injured from a roadside explosion on Dec. 4, 2005, in Afghanistan.

“After Adam died, that hit her hard,” John Prout said. “She told me it was important to her to help out over there. It really is amazing, but when she sets a goal, she gets it done.”

Sarah graduated at the top of her class with a physical training score of 300. It’s a typical achievement, according to her coach at Nevada, Curt Kraft, who is now in his first season as head coach of the East Carolina University women’s program.

“Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me, with Sarah’s tenacity and her commitment to contributing,” Kraft said Thursday during a telephone interview. “And what better way to contribute than by representing your country the way she is?”

Prout’s track and field contributions at Nevada Union can be seen on the record board at Art Hooper Stadium, which has her name listed in five events – 100-meter hurdles (14.8 in 2001), 300-meter hurdles (44.14 in 2003), 200 (25.7 in 2003), 4×100 relay (49.30 in 2003) and the 4×400 relay (3:54.35 to qualify for the state meet in 2002).

Once in Reno, she contributed right away as a multi-event athlete, as she placed at both the Western Athletic Conference indoor (pentathlon) and outdoor (heptathlon) meets for Nevada in 2004. Prout picked up a ring in the process, as Nevada won the 2004 WAC indoor team championship.

” She is one of the best athletes we ever coached,” said Kraft, the head coach at Nevada from 1995-2004. “Everything she did for us was at one speed and that was full speed. Tenacious is the word that comes to mind when talking about Sarah. When she would grab that baton in a relay race, it was just all guts, and that’s what makes her such a neat person.

“She’s a great athlete, but the thing that sticks out first and foremost in my mind is what a wonderful person she is.”

Of interest, Sarah is following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Wesley Prout, a World War II medic. After the war, he became involved in the development of prosthetics. John’s brother, Gary Prout, also builds prosthetics in Roseville.

“My dad helped a lot of people, he had several patents on artificial hooks, so he helped a lot of people,” John Prout said. “I have a feeling Sarah may end up doing the same kind of work, too. My dad died three years ago, but if he was still alive, he would be really proud of Sarah right now, I’m sure.”


To contact sports editor Dave Price, e-mail or call 477-4240.

Sarah Prout profile

Hometown: Grass Valley

High School: Nevada Union

College: University of Nevada

Birthdate: Sept. 1, 1985

Family: Parents, John and Denise Prout; brother, Nathan; sister, Emily

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