Runner lands Nashville contract

Sarah Wallace, sophomore, plays the guitar to help her relax. Her brother taught her to play.

Sarah Wallace, sophomore, plays the guitar to help her relax. Her brother taught her to play.

One track and field team member has struck a chord at Missouri Southern.

Sophomore Sarah Wallace decided to attend Southern after Patty Vavra, head women’s cross country and track and field coach, called her.

“I wasn’t looking at [Southern],” Wallace said, “Then Coach Vavra called for track, and I was like ‘Well, we’ll see. I haven’t thought about it.'”

Wallace came to Southern and interviewed for the Honors Program the last day she could. And she was accepted.

“Everything just fell into place here and didn’t fall into place everywhere else,” she said. “And I liked the campus so I came.”

The Branson native started playing the guitar her sophomore year in high school.

“My dad plays guitar and bass and anything that has strings,” Wallace said. “So we’ve always had like seven guitars sitting around the house.”

She said because everyone else around her played, she wanted to as well.

“So my brother taught me how,” Wallace said. “And I ended up really liking it and kept playing on my own kind of listening to stuff, playing by ear. Then I started writing songs and singing.”

Wallace said music has become a sort of stress reliever for her.

“It’s nice to just sit down and jam,” she said. “I like playing for people.”

She said she has written about 10 songs to date, but was recently contracted to write songs for Nashville.

“My songs are going to be pitched to singers in Nashville after they’re copy-righted,” Wallace said. “I’m kind of excited about that.”

She said she is signing with Joe Sullivan of SullivanShows.

She will sign the contract this weekend.

“I’m best friends with his daughter, and so that’s how he heard my songs,” she said.

Wallace started running track in the seventh grade and loved it.

“All I did was run,” she said. “I always wanted to be a pole vaulter but they told me, ‘Forget it, you’re running.’ So I guess it worked out for me since I’m still running.”

Wallace came to Southern and joined the women’s cross country and track and field teams.

“She’s kind of one of those people that keeps it [fun],” Vavra said. “She enjoys laughing and at the same time she goes to work when it’s time to do that.”

Wallace’s friends agree.

“She’s a very driven person,” said Jessica Selby, freshman undecided major and one of Wallace’s track and field teammates. “She’s got to be one of the spunkiest people I’ve ever met.”

Selby and Wallace met after running against each other in high school.

“I was visiting the college last year and ran into her and they needed another roommate so now we are suitemates,” Selby said.

Wallace is a secondary math education and Spanish major.

“I was really good at math in high school and enjoyed it,” she said. “And I had taken five years of Spanish and wanted to continue in Spanish, so I put both of them together because I couldn’t decide.”

She said her parents are teachers, which influenced her decision.

“I’ve always been around teaching and that’s what I want to do.”