Sophie Galloway is a very athletic sophomore at Graves County High School. This May, she beat everyone in the entire state in the long jump at the Class 3A Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s state track and field championships. Her future plans include more wins in track & field, a career in sports medicine and the Olympics. iMeet this great local student who is the number three triple jumper - in her class - in the US!

Thanks for being our iMeet this week, Sophie. Tell us about yourself...

My full name is Sophie Addison Galloway, but most people just call me Soph…or Sophia (even though Sophia isn’t really my name). I’ve lived in Graves County all my life - Farmington to be exact. I’m a sophomore at Graves County High School. I went to Central Elementary in Marshall County for 6th and 7th grade. My mom taught there and it was easier to go to school with her. Mom took a job in Graves County, so I moved school districts as well. 

It all worked out perfectly because I love school - I’m taking hard classes, but I love it! Math is my favorite subject but I like my science classes too - but math has always been my most favorite.

Sophie Galloway

Tell us about your family...

My parents are Nathan and April (Hall) Galloway. My dad is from Sedalia and he graduated from Graves County. HS My mom is from Calvert City and she went to Marshall County HS. Dad works for Kentucky Farm Bureau in Mayfield and mom is teaching, at Central Elementary in Graves County now.  

Sophie GallowayI am an only child, so my only siblings are all of my cute little animals at home. I always begged for a baby brother or sister, but God must have known how busy my mom and dad would be with me one day!

I am an animal lover, and I’ve have had several animals over the years. Right now I have a Silver Lab named Archie, a German Short-haired Pointer named Piper, a bunny rabbit named Trixie, and a few cats we call Kitty Kitty, Blue, and Mr. Fluffy Pants.  I love them all.  I am currently begging for one of those little miniature donkeys because they are so cute, but I don’t see that happening. Haha!

You won the long jump at the Class 3A Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s state track and field championships in May...tell us about that? Was it a record long jump for you? How did you get into the long jump? Do you do other events too?

The jumping events and hurdles are my main events. I sometimes do a 100 or 200 meter sprint, but the jumps and hurdles are my best, so I usually stick to those.

This past May, at the KHSAA Class 3A State Championships at University of Kentucky, I won both the Triple Jump and the Long Jump. That day didn’t start out well, but it ended up being great!  I was pretty nervous going into it because I was the Region 1 Champion and #1 seed in all three of my events. 

My first event was the 100 meter hurdles, and I was so fired up that I jumped the gun.  So, there I was, the #1 seed, and I was out of the race…disqualified for a false start.  I had never done that in my life, so I don’t know what happened or why I did it, but I did, and I was sick. I remember finding my mom and saying “what am I gonna do?”  She hugged me and said, “you’re going to go check back into the long jump and win IT!”  “Now let’s go!”  I knew it would be hard to do, but I had been the runner-up in both jumping events the year before, so I knew it was possible. 

Sophie GallowayI gathered myself, walked back out onto the field, and jumped 18’ 4” in the long jump in the pouring down rain, which is hard to do. That was a state title, a new personal best for me and a new school record. Okay, so after that, I felt a little better. 

Next up was the triple jump. Triple jump is one of the hardest events in track and field, but it’s my best and my favorite. I remember it was raining like a flood at the time, and I literally could barely see the runway. They were literally sweeping water off the runway with a broom, but I knew after what happened with the hurdles I had to win both jumps, so I pushed hard and jumped 38’ 10”.  That was good for another state title. It was also another personal best for me, another school record, as well as a new 3A State Record which was even better. I was drenched and cold, but I was so excited!  So, it ended up a good day after all. 

I didn’t end my season there this year.  I actually participated in some USATF and AAU events this summer with track and field at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina and at AAU Regionals in Knoxville at University of Tennessee. I did really well at all of those and got better as the summer went on. 

Sophie Galloway

I increased my distances in the jumps to 19’ 2” in the long jump and 40’ 3” in the triple jump. I also decreased my time in the 100 meter hurdles to 14.7 seconds. As the entire outdoor season ended, I am ranked third in the nation in triple jump and 5th in the long jump in my Class of 2021.

Sophie GallowayHonors and awards besides the state titles?

Besides my two state titles and 1st Team All State and Academic All State Awards this year, I was also excited to be named the KY Girls Gatorade Player of the Year for Track and Field.  I never even thought about that happening, so I was very grateful for that honor.

Do you have a distance goal set for yourself?  Where would you like to attend college?

My goal is to be a track and field athlete in college one day, but I have no idea where want to go yet. Because of my age, I can’t go for college visits right now or talk to anyone about it, but I hope to end up at a college with a good jumps coach so that I can continue to get better because I would really like to get to the US Olympic Trials one day. That is very hard to do, so of course it is just a dream and a goal for now, but I’m going to try my best.

Sophie Galloway

To get there I will have to jump like 21’ 6” in the long jump, 44” in the triple jump, and run a 13.5 in the 100 meter hurdles, so those are my actual number goals to reach, and I have several years left to do it, so we will see. For right now I’m just trying to learn better technique in each event and stay healthy. 

And you play basketball!?

Yes, it's the off season for track, so I’m actually doing conditioning for basketball right now.  Basketball keeps me in shape during the winter, plus I love my teammates and Coach Beth, so I’m really glad I started playing. Being a multi-sport athlete is hard, but it is worth it!

Sophie Galloway

 I learn so many different things from each of my coaches: Coach Potts, Coach Beth, as well as my AAU track coach and Mario. I can’t thank them enough for what they teach me and do for me. They all keep me in good shape and condition to do what I need to do.

Any advice that you'd give other girls who look up to you?

Sophie GallowayMy advice to any young kid (girl or boy) is to get involved with something. Not everyone is good at soccer, basketball, baseball, etc., but there is something for everyone. Track isn’t just about running or jumping. If you don’t like to jump, there are also throwing events that are fun too. If you aren’t a fast runner, there are long distance runs in track, not just fast sprints.

I know a lot of kids don’t even like sports, but there are drama clubs, church groups, and music clubs also. My thing is…your teammates and coaches become your family and your best friends, so I always encourage kids to be a part of something so they can have fun and enjoy school.

Do you know what profession you'd like to go into?

I am interested in sports medicine of some kind…physical therapy, kinesiology, exercise physiology, or dietetics. Those are interesting to me, but I haven’t really narrowed it down specifically yet.

What do you like to do in your free time? What do you and your friends like to do on the weekends?

I actually stay pretty busy all the time and don’t really have much free time, but when I do have some, I like to go shopping, hang out with friends or family, go to college games, and things like that. On the weekends, I rest as much as possible, unless I have a game. 

One of my favorite places to be is at the beach, so any down time we have during summer or fall, I’m always up for a trip to Florida. I also try to help out as much as I can doing things for the Family Resource Center and other activities at the elementary school so that I can try to be a positive influence to other kids. 

Sophie Galloway

What does a typical day look like for you...

Of course every day is somewhat different, but on most days…

I wake up around 5:30am, take a shower, and get ready for school. Then I pack all my bags for the day. I usually have more than one practice requiring different shoes and/or clothes, so I have to pack all that up. Then I eat, and get stuff together for lunch. Mom drops me off at school on her way to work (I can’t drive yet).

After school, I get something to eat and head off to whatever practices we have that day…usually either basketball practice or a game, track practice, Paducah for Mario, or Nashville.  I try to get homework done at school and I study in the car or finish usually. It’s a crazy life…but I love it!

Sophie Galloway

Oh, and I make sure to get plenty of sleep. That’s part of how I stay healthy. I’m not the typical teenager who stays up late watching Netflix and playing video games.  Don’t get me wrong, I like my I, but it’s lights out for me pretty early each night.:-)

Wow Sophie, sounds like you have a busy and amazing life as a student athlete. Congratulations on all your success this year.  We hope we’re reading about you in the national press someday soon. *two photos courtesy of Brad Rankin