ANSONIA – Ansonia senior Lydia Sink committed to the University of Dayton women’s track and field team on Friday afternoon.
Sink, the daughter of Mark and Star Sink, said Dayton always was her No. 1 college choice and she’s excited to have the opportunity to compete for the Flyers.
“It feels pretty good seeing that UD’s always been my No. 1 choice, just being able to go run track there and pursue what I’ve always wanted to do in college,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to really do it without my family and friends and coaches … coaches mainly because they push me during practice and at meets and don’t let you scratch events when you want to scratch events.”
Sink has spent a considerable amount of time at Dayton, she said, because her sister, Ashlyn, attends the university.
“My sister goes there, and I’ve been around the campus a lot,” the Ansonia senior said. “It feels a lot like home to me. I felt like I got along really well with the people, and then when I met the coaches that was my No. 1 deciding factor because they were just so nice and welcoming.”
The Flyers started recruiting Sink in November, and she immediately knew she wanted to go to Dayton.
“It happened all kind of quick, but as soon as they contacted me I knew that that was the No. 1 place that I wanted to go,” she said.
At Dayton Sink will compete in the heptathlon, which is a seven-event competition that includes the 100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meter dash, long jump, javelin and 800 meter run.
“I think it’s going to be a wonderful experience for her,” Ansonia girls track and field coach Craig Riethman said. “The heptathlon, I think, is a good fit for her. She’s a very well rounded athlete, has God-given talents. The mental state of going into a Division I atmosphere is going to be definitely a challenge for Lydia, and I’m really anxious to see how she responds. I hope that she commits and sticks with it and really sees what she can do. I think she’ll even surprise herself with how far she can go with things if she gets around the right crowd. She has a burning desire to do well, and she’s very competitive, and she has a lot going for her.”
Sink is well-rounded athlete who has excelled in track and field, volleyball and basketball at Ansonia. As a freshman she finished eighth in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III girls high jump and 14th in the long jump. As a sophomore she finished 12th in the state in the high jump.
The heptathlon is kind of intimidating, Sink said, but she thinks she’s ready for the challenge.
“(It) kind of scares me because that’s a lot of events but I think that they’ll train me well enough get through it all,” she said.
The Dayton women finished third at the Atlantic 10 indoor championships this year. At last year’s A-10 outdoor championships the Flyers had the third and eighth place finishers in the women’s heptathlon.
Sink’s versatility is what makes her such a strong athlete, Riethman said.
“Whether it’s jumping, throwing, sprinting, distance, she’s very gifted in all aspects with what she can do,” he said. “I think she’s very strong, and I think her competitive spirit is going to be what pushes her through and not allow her to give up.
“If she puts her mind to it she’s going to be very successful at UD.”
At Dayton Sink will major in human biology and plans become an oncologist or physician assistant. She’s ready for the challenges of school and being a NCAA Division I student-athlete.
“It’s kind of overwhelming, I guess, because it’s a big school, and it’s going to be a lot different coming from Ansonia with the small class sizes,” she said. “It feels good, though.
“I feel like I am ready for that competition. I’ve always wanted to be a D1 athlete. It’s really overwhelming for me coming from such a small school. I never expected it to actually come true until UD contacted me.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.