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From World Runner to National Agility Competitor: EvCC Instructor Sue Grigsby

Sue+Grigsby+and+Splash+taking+10th+at+nationals+in+2014.
Sue Grigsby and Splash taking 10th at nationals in 2014.

Sue Grigsby and Splash taking 10th at nationals in 2014.

Courtesy of Sue Grigsby

Courtesy of Sue Grigsby

Sue Grigsby and Splash taking 10th at nationals in 2014.

Cassylee Mead, Staff Writer

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After traveling the world as a runner, longtime EvCC teacher Sue Grigsby found she would rather run with an extra four legs by her side. Sue has been all over the world competing in track events but in recent years has found herself drawn to competing in dog agility.

Grigsby has been teaching physical education at EvCC for over 30 years. After years of coaching track she decided she wanted to learn more and teaching made sense. Her student Julie Bergstrom said, “I really like her she is just enough hands on and just enough hands off,” and she encourages anyone who wants to get in shape to consider Grigsby’s class.

She said, “Growing up I was always the teacher when we would play house.”

Within her first five years of teaching she became a track coach and took EvCC students to the Soviet Union to compete in a track meet. According to a Clipper article from 1987 Grisby and her students spent two weeks in Russia and went to Moscow, Minsk and Leningrad but only competed in one track meet in Minsk. Grisby would go on to compete in World Masters Track Meets in South Africa, Australia, Spain, Italy, and Finland and even set a U.S record for her age group in South Africa.

After running track for over 35 years Sue has taken up a new sport where instead of traveling the world, she has traveled across the United States with man’s, in this case woman’s, best friend. She now participates in the Australian Shepherd dog agility with her dog, Splash.

She got Splash eight years ago. Sue said “I’ve always wanted a dog, but originally it was going to be a golden retriever named Riley.” Splash is an Australian Shepherd and wasn’t her first pick of the litter but Splash had chosen her. The dog she wanted at first was taken, then her second choice wasn’t very interested in her but Splash just couldn’t leave her alone.
Splash and Sue have gone to dog agility nationals multiple times. They have been to Colorado, Wisconsin, California and Texas. In 2014 they placed 10th in the veteran category. Sue said “My dog isn’t the fastest but she’s consistent.”

The best part about the competitions for Sue is that she gets to work on a team. This can be pretty satisfying after running track by yourself for 35 years. She also likes the critical thinking and strategic elements that present themselves through competition.
Sue plans on getting another puppy soon because Splash has been competing for over 5 years. At the end of the day even though Splash hasn’t placed first, wasn’t a golden retriever and wasn’t her first pick Sue says, “I couldn’t imagine life without her.”

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From World Runner to National Agility Competitor: EvCC Instructor Sue Grigsby