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Sarah Melanson Occupational Therapy
Annapolis, Maryland

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The Beauty Queen
Sarah Melanson, an aspiring occupational therapist, is one of the youngest and most successful Iron Man triathletes in the world ... yea, the world! She's also a West Virginia University student who finds time to train for her races and study for her finals. Sounds tough, right? Well, so is she. 


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Sarah, an aspiring occupational therapist, is one of the youngest and most successful Iron Man triathletes in the world ... yea, the world!

Name: Sarah Melanson

Major: Occupational Therapy

Hometown: Annapolis, Maryland

What’s your career goal? I hope to be a successful occupational therapist and help others achieve their goals in becoming independent.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time? I walk my dog, Moose, on the Rail Trail.

Favorite Morgantown restaurant? Black Bear Burritos

Favorite movie? “Zoolander”

What's your quote to live by? 

A smooth sea doesn’t make a skillful sailor.

Fictional character most like you? Mulan

If you could only visit one more place on campus, where would you go? It is not really on campus, but I have never been to Cooper’s Rock. Every time I try to go something comes up. I hope to visit there soon.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Greece

What couldn’t you live without? My dog, Moose, the 90-pound boxer who thinks he is a lap dog and would never pass up the opportunity to go on a run with me.

Most valuable skill you have? My caring nature toward others. I want to see others succeed just as much as myself.

Person you’ve met during your time here who has had the biggest impact on you? It isn’t just one person, but the entire WVU cycling team. The group is extremely supportive and genuinely wants each other to succeed, but we also know how to have fun doing it.

What about any hidden talents?​ I am excellent at crashing on my bike.


Why did you choose to come to WVU? I always knew I wanted to go to a big school, and Maryland schools didn’t interest me much. I was surprised at the amount of things to do around here and thought it would be a good fit. I’m really happy about my decision to come to WVU.

Why is WVU special to you? I really enjoy the people here at WVU. I have met some of the nicest and down to earth people here and made some friendships that I know will last.

What surprised you most about WVU when you got to campus for the first time? I was surprised about the amount of hills the campus had.

When I'm on campus, you can most likely find mewaiting for the PRT.

How do you keep up with your passion for competing in triathletes and go to school? It’s what gets me through the long days of classes, knowing that after I complete what I have to do, I can enjoy myself and clear my mind with a swim, bike or run.

What's your favorite class you've taken at WVU? Biology 101. I had an amazing professor, Dr. Ripley, who made it exciting to come to class at 9:30 a.m. I learned so much from her.

What advice would you give to a student thinking of coming to WVU? I would say that it is an excellent school that gives you many opportunities to succeed, but it’s on you to find the balance between your social and academic life.

What's your proudest accomplishment while at WVU? In my first semester, I was able to receive Dean’s list honors while training and completing my first Ironman.

Has WVU had an impact on your passion? Yes, if anything I have met more people that share my love for endurance sports. It helped me branch out and make many friends that would help keep me motivated towards my goals.

What will you miss most about WVU? I will miss the convenience of a flexible schedule and having all my friends and my teammates in such a small radius.

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