With numerous first place medals and just three seconds separating her from the LGHS 3200m record, it came as no surprise to anyone when senior Sophie Tau committed to University of California Berkeley after a lengthy recruitment process. In addition to track and cross country, Tau is anything but slow when it comes to academics as she plans to pursue electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) at the top public university in the United States.
Tau recalled that she began her running career in “sixth grade at Fisher Middle School. I tried a bunch of other sports, but I always liked running. So then I tried that at Fisher, and I was good at it, so I kept going.” When she first ran with the LGHS team as a freshman, she was put on varsity. Throughout her time at LGHS, Tau competed with the cross country team in the fall, building a cardiovascular base for her distance events — the 3200m and 1600m — during outdoor track season. Her training is intense: the athlete states she trains “six days a week, which usually ends up being about 40 miles.”
All of the practice paid off when Tau dropped her 3200m time from 12:42 to 11:55 between her freshman and sophomore year. However, she noted, “I never considered running in college until my junior year — that was kind of my breakout season.” During that season, her “main goal was to break five in the mile.” Just five days later, she achieved the mile(stone) in the Central Coast Section (CCS) Top Eight race with a 4:59 — 24 seconds lower than her season opener.
After her spectacular cross country and track seasons, Tau “visited a bunch of schools
on the East Coast the summer before [her] junior year.” In October, she committed to Northeastern University, and thought she was done with recruiting. But when Berkeley reached out, she couldn’t say no. During her official visit, the team, athlete resources, and academics wowed Tau. She explained, “I felt with my academic goals and major it was a really good fit…The [training] facilities are also really cool and the team is super nice. I really like the coach; she’s super young and it feels like she would be a teammate.” An extremely competitive school both academically and athletically, Berkeley’s Division I sports resources include tutors and priority class choice. Tau mentioned, “They have a lot of advisors so if you’re struggling or anything, they really do a lot to help you.”
It’s clear Tau has the athletics aspect of college down, but she will also navigate academics with ease. Four out of five of her classes are Advanced Placement (AP) classes, including the notoriously difficult AP Physics C and AP Calculus BC classes. Her AP Physics C and former AP Computer Science teacher, Matthew Holm, stated, “This is a human who I’ve been a fan of for four years and to see the continual improvement and the dedication and the drive that fires her up is so impressive. And I’m so excited for her current and for her future.”
In the future, Tau aims to one day qualify for the famous Boston Marathon. This spring, she’s looking forward to finishing off a successful track season with her team for four years — and hopefully setting a new school record while she’s at it.