Sara Jane Harris is really the complete package. She truly knows her sports. While in high school, she lettered in six varsity sports, which is insane! Harris played collegiate soccer at the University of South Carolina before transferring to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. While in college, Harris made her mind up to stay involved in sports throughout her lifetime. She decided to follow her dream of becoming a sports anchor and had many internships which were trying at times. Through all of the ups and downs, the determination and experience Harris had eventually led her to where she is today, ABC Columbia.
Whether you’re interested in talking sports or looking for a female role model, we’re sure Harris can fill those roles. She is as inspiring and knowledgeable as it gets. We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we did!
20 QUESTIONS WITH SARA JANE HARRIS:
1. We see you were an avid athlete growing up, what all sports did you play?
Sports have always played a huge role in my life! Growing up I was a year-round swimmer, USTA tennis player, club soccer player and a AAU basketball player. In high school and middle school I tried a little bit of everything, including volleyball and track.
2. You lettered in six varsity sports in high school. How did you find the time for all those sports?
It wasn’t easy! There were many evenings where I attended two practices. I also started very young! I played varsity tennis and volleyball in seventh grade. In eighth grade, I ran varsity track. In high school, I focused much of my time on varsity basketball and soccer, and during my senior year I decided to swim on the varsity swim team.
3. What advice would you give to future sports journalists?
Do as many internships as you can. I cannot fully express just how valuable internships can be. I would not be where I am today if not for my internships.
4. You worked very hard to get where you are, how did you never give up along the way?
Ask anyone who is a sports anchor and they’ll tell you there are trying times, but also incredibly wonderful ones, too. I think it is important to really love what you do and remember the reason why you are doing it. As long as you have a strong base, it will be hard for anyone or any situation to knock you over.
5. You changed your major in college to journalism, how did you find the courage to make that decision?
When I was a freshman in college, playing soccer was all that mattered to me. However, during my sophomore year, the realization of my sports career ending at graduation weighed heavily on my mind. The thought did not sit well with me so I explored my options and eventually set my sights on journalism with the hopes of one day becoming a sports anchor.
6. You’ve covered a lot of amazing sporting events but we must know, how was it covering SEC football and a BCS National Championship?
Amazing! There is absolutely nothing like SEC football. The pride, passion and tradition behind each school in the conference is truly a wonder to behold. When I covered the BCS National Championship it was between two SEC teams, Alabama and LSU. The fans turned the entire city of New Orleans into a sea of gold and crimson. The minutes leading up to kickoff were incredible and it was so loud in the Superdome. It was impossible not to get goose bumps.
7. What do you feel has come as the biggest shocker of the past NCAA football season?
Auburn, all the way. Even though the Tigers came up short in their run for a national title, their season was nothing short of a beautiful sports miracle.
8. What has been your favorite sporting event you’ve covered to so far?
I’ve been very fortunate to have covered many wonderful sporting events in my short career, but I have to say covering the 2011 College World Series tops them all. There is something very pure about college baseball. Between the games, the food, the weather and the overall atmosphere in Omaha, the experience will forever be one hard to match.
9. If you could be a fly on a wall of any locker room, which team would it be and why?
If I could go back in time, I would love to be a fly on the wall in the Lady Vols’ locker room for one of Pat Summitt’s pregame speeches. Coach Summitt is a legend. Growing up, I dreamed of playing for her at the University of Tennessee. (Like every other young female basketball player at the time.)
10. What sporting event is your dream to cover and why?
No question, the World Cup.
11. How do you feel social media has changed the face of sports journalism?
Social media has completely changed the face of sports journalism. Fans are now able to get instant access to players, teams and information at the push of a button. Most people no longer need to wait to watch the 6 p.m. or 11 p.m. sportscast to obtain information about their favorite team or player.
12. We see you like to work out so which workout is the best in your opinion?
I love to lift weights. I also have a love/hate relationship with the stair climber. The stair climber can give you incredible results, but the burn is intense!
13. What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered as someone who was kind and who had a passion for life. I want to make a positive impact wherever I go.
14. If you had to choose one, what would be the sports movie you could watch every day for the rest of your life? Why?
That’s a tough one. I saw 42 recently and was very moved and inspired.
15. If we looked in your refrigerator right now, what would we find?
My friends would laugh about this one because my refrigerator is always pretty empty. I don’t have much willpower when it comes to food so I have to be careful what items I keep. Right now I have a bag apples, chicken, turkey from the deli, plain Greek yogurt, pre-made protein shakes, low carb wraps, coffee creamer and wine.
16. What would you say are your most hated pet peeves?
Mostly, negativity. I don’t want it around me. Also, and this might seem odd, but theme park PDA (public displays of affection). I just got back from covering the Capital One Bowl in Orlando and was able to visit Disney World. Couples were everywhere and when you are standing in line with very few places to look, you are bound to be face to face with a make-out session. It is quite the phenomena. 🙂
17. What are the top three songs on your iPod right now?
Better Than Words – One Direction
Macklemore – White Walls
Will.i.am ft. Miley Cyrus – Feelin’ Myself
18. We always have to ask. Are you single, taken or locked down?
Maybe you can guess by my theme park PDA answer, ha… single.
19. What would be your ideal perfect date?
Dinner in a private box at a sporting event.
20. Who would you recommend as our next Sports Babe of the Day?
Kelli Bartik (WCCB Sports Anchor in Charlotte, NC)