Rankin gives up sailing for Centre

September 21, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

Carlisle Rankin could have spent her college days on the open water, but she doesn't regret her decision to turn inland for four years.

Rankin is a freshman on the Centre College field hockey team, but hockey is only one of her many interests. She's also an accomplished sailor, one who has felt at home in a sailboat since her early childhood.

Danville's distance from the coast gave Rankin pause before she made her college choice.

"I didn't consider it (Centre) until the middle of my senior year in high school," she said.

Rankin had initially considered attending a school with a strong sailing program, such as the College of Charleston or even Southern California or Stanford. It seemed like a good fit for someone who has been on the water since her early childhood.

"I spend all my summers on the water," she said.

For the past dozen years or so, much of that time has been spent at a sailing camp at Arapahoe, N.C., which is located near the junction of the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound,


"I've been going to sailing camp for years, and I've been training girls since I was 9," she said.

Rankin said she thought she would like to sail competitively in college, but she is following in a family tradition of attending small liberal-arts schools. She said she chose Centre because of its program that allows students to spend a semester abroad, and she hopes to make two trips to study overseas during her years here.

Rankin had already made it through one difficult decision to move inland when she left her home in Asheboro, N.C., to attend The Asheville School, a boarding school located some three hours to the west in the North Carolina mountains.

She chose that school because of it's strong outdoors program. The outdoors is another of her passions, and she hopes to land an internship with a land conservancy program.

Making the adjustment to the college game has been tough

Rankin is glad she has the chance to continue playing field hockey, but high school field hockey isn't strong in North Carolina, and she said it hasn't been easy making the adjustment from a small high school team to the college game.

"It's been kind of tough for me," Rankin said. "Field hockey doesn't get as far south as some sports. Girls at this level have already got the basics down."

But once she started showing interest in coming to Centre and playing hockey there, she said coach Tom Hobbs did everything he could to convince her it was a good idea.

"He called me once a week," she said. "He was an excellent recruiter."

Hobbs said he's glad to have Rankin on board.

"Her attitude is just fantastic," Hobbs said. "She works hard and soaks up everything I tell her."

Rankin is part of a nine-woman freshman class that Centre is putting to good use in its first season of Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.

Rankin said even though field hockey and sailing aren't remotely alike, there are parallels between the two sports.

"They're probably really comparable," she said. "There are similarities between them in terms of discipline."

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