Sara Ruckman is one of those rare athletes who make everything look easy – almost too easy.

Sara Ruckman is one of those rare athletes who make everything look easy – almost too easy.

During cross country season, she was always the leader of the pack for the Truman High School girls team.

She wowed new girls basketball head coach Steve Cassity and opponents with her skills as the Patriots point guard.

And last week, in a steady drizzle at the Class 4 District 8 meet at Park Hill High School, she won the 800 meters, turning in a personal best 2:26.40.

She will be one of the premier runners at Saturday’s sectional meet at Blue Springs South High School, where she will also compete in the 1,600 and 1,600 relay.

When asked about Saturday’s projected forecast of sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s, she also proved she has a sense of humor.

“No rain?” Ruckman said, “I won’t know how to run. It seems like we always run in the rain.”

Don’t believe her for a moment. She’ll be just fine.

“Really, I’m looking forward to sectionals,” Ruckman said. “I think anyone who’s going into a big meet like sectionals has to be in the right mindset. And I think I am.

“If I win the 800, that will great. But all I have to do is finish in the top four to go to state. I think I have a good chance to win the 800, because I ran a PR (personal record) last week and I know to win Saturday, I’ll probably have to run another PR.

“I want to make it to state in the 1,600, but that’s going to be tougher. I think I can do it, but the field is going to be so strong.”

Not only will she get to compete individually, she is happy to be a member of a relay team vying for a state berth.

“I love the girls I run with on the 4-by-400 relay team, and we all want to go to state,” Ruckman added. “Because cross country and track are individual sports, it’s fun to be a part of a team. And the girls on the relay team have become real close.

“We get together before we run and have a prayer and then go out and do our best. And we’re hoping our best will get us to state.”

Truman head coach Randy Maglinger told The Examiner that his standout sophomore showed the mental toughness of a senior at the district track meet.

“She just ran really, really well (Saturday),” Maglinger said. “When she fist got there, with the rain and everything, I was kind of worried about her physiologically. She said, ‘You know what, I think I’m going to PR today.’ She definitely did. She PR’ed by three seconds.”

That was the plan at district and she hopes to follow the same plan at sectionals.

“We’ve had a good week of practice – despite the weather,” Ruckman said. “We had a light workout Monday, we worked pretty hard on Tuesday and Wednesday and had a moderate workout on Thursday.

“We took (Friday) off, to rest our legs, and now, we’re ready to go.”

Because she is such a standout in three sports, the question just had to be asked: Do you have a favorite sport?

“I do,” she said. “My favorite sport is cross country, during cross county season. My favorite sport is basketball during basketball season …”

Want to guess what her favorite sport happens to be right now?