Sophomore cross-country runner Ruby Roberts has lived her life like a marathon.
Whether running, dancing or learning to play basketball with her boyfriend, WSU basketball player George Hill, Ruby enjoys being active.
“I like to be busy and have a lot of things to do,” she said. “Dancing was the thing I loved to do.” Courtesy Athletic Communications
Taking classes as a child, Ruby said dance became a huge part of her life. She met her life major influence in classes: her dance instructor Lynn Galletta.
“I still talk to her today and see her when I go home,” she said.
Ruby grew up in Kingston with her two younger sisters, mother and father. Her whole family consists of runners; one of her younger sisters, Marina Roberts, is currently a freshman cross-country runner at Colorado State University.
Ruby’s father and mother ran in high school, and her father went to Brown University, running indoor track his freshman year.
“We all run,” she said. “It’s something we share as a family.”
Entering her freshman year at Kingston High School, Ruby participated in several sports, including soccer and softball. She enjoyed playing soccer and wanted to pursue it as a career, but found long distance running was her sport.
Seeing Ruby’s speed on the soccer field and softball diamond, the cross-country runners at her high school convinced her to try long distance running. She asked her parents whether or not to give up on soccer and pursue running, and her parents encouraged her to try the sport.
Ruby quickly became a dominant long distance runner her sophomore year of high school, and won state in cross-country and in the mile for track.
“Sophomore year I broke through with long distance running,” she said. “That’s when schools started contacting me as well.”
Ruby went on to win another state championship in cross-country her senior year in high school, defending her mile state championship in track as well.
Her high school success provided her with many college offers, including one from WSU. However, she said she wasn’t interested in running for WSU.
Intending to contact a different school, Ruby ended up dialing the number of former WSU Head Cross-Country Coach Pete Julian.
Julian set up a home visit and convinced her to take an official visit to the university. Ruby was blown away.
During her visit, she met with the team and formed a bond with her future teammates.
“I thought they were a great group of girls,” Ruby said. “Some of them I remember competing against in high school.”
WSU’s location also caught Ruby’s attention. Pullman’s proximity to her home allows her to see her family pretty often, but at the same time lets her grow away from them if she wants.
Ruby currently studies fine arts and human development, and is still unsure of whether or not to try running as a career or stick with her major.
“I like fine arts a lot, and human development was something that interested me as well,” she said. “I want to incorporate art and work with people in some way.”
She said right now running is something she likes to do for fun and enjoys, and if she tried it professionally there is that fear of losing the passion and instead worrying about results.