Springfield, Ohio – Meeting so many interesting people in the world of athletics has led Wittenberg graduate Sarah Gearhart to a fulfilling career path as a freelance sportswriter.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, Gearhart graduated from Wittenberg in 2006 with a degree in communication and a minor in writing. Just four years later in 2011, she was headed to New York City to serve as senior producer for USA TODAY Sports and in 2015 transitioned to full-time freelance writing to pursue stories and projects that align more with her passions. Her work has taken her around the world and has appeared in Runner’s World, ESPN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Vice Sports, Outside Magazine, and Victory Journal.
Rubbing elbows with so many sports stars in her young career, Gearhart has interviewed and featured such standouts as former pro basketball player Dwyane Wade; pro football players Troy Polamalu, Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Randy Moss; pro baseball players CC Sabathia, Ryan Howard, and Dustin Pedroia; soccer player Abby Wambach; runners Meb Keflezighi, Wilson Kipsang, Kara Goucher, and Shalane Flanagan, and boxer Andre Ward, just to name a few.
“I actually didn’t consider pursuing freelance early in my career mostly because it can be quite risky, especially living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, but I always knew I could take my writing and skillset to another level, and I think when you believe in your ability, you find a way to align opportunities,” said Gearhart, who was a member of Wittenberg’s cross country team for four years and ran track for two years. She was also vice president for the class of 2006 for four years, a writer for The Torch, a writing intern for two years with the Office of University Communications, a member of Build a Better Wittenberg (BABW), and the founding editor of Links, the alumni newsletter for the department of communication.
“Sports journalism is a field I fell into after college because my first job after I graduated was as an assistant editor for a magazine and media company that focused on sports performance,” said Gearhart, who specifically pursued journalism after falling in love with writing at the early age of nine. “I’ve remained in sports media for my entire career to date (nearly 14 years now), but I’ve expanded into other categories, including food and travel. I’m living my dream. I can’t fully express how much I love what I do. It doesn’t feel like work, even though I ‘work’ nearly every day. I enjoy that I’m constantly tasked with talking to so many interesting, talented, and successful people, from professional athletes to chefs and designers. I’m grateful that I get to engage in really thoughtful conversations.”
Gearhart’s work consists of a variety of responsibilities ranging from researching, interviewing, writing, copy editing, organizing photo shoots, and creative directing. Her career has taken her all over the world, from Paris, London, Berlin, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Mexico City.