Saffel shined in three sports during career at Elkins High

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of profiles of individuals and teams that will be inducted into the Randolph County Athletic Hall of Fame at noon Saturday at the Gandy Dancer Theatre in Elkins.

Heather Saffel graduated from Elkins High School in 2006, earning numerous awards in three sports.

She was a two-time All-State first-team selection in soccer, a three-time All-Stater in cross country and earned eight All-State titles in track.

On the soccer field, Saffel was named to the All-NCAC first team on three different occasions. In both her junior and senior years, she was voted the NCAC Player of the Year and State Midfielder of the Year. She captained the 2004 state runner-up team and 2005 state championship squad.

She participated in cross country three years, winning individual and team regional championships during her junior and senior years.

On the track, Saffel won two NCAC titles in the 1,600-meter run and 4×400 relay events, and seven regional titles in the 800, 1,600 and 4×400 and 4×800 relays.

She broke the 1,600 NCAC record as a junior and set a school record with a time of 5:13.10. In her senior season, she broke school records in the 4×800 (9:42.26), the 4×400 (4:08.80) and the 3,200 (11:24.75.

Saffel continued her career on a soccer scholarship at West Virginia University for three years. She became only the 11th player in WVU history to earn National Soccer Coaches Association Scholar All-East Region honors. In 2009, the team voted her as Strength and Conditioning Iron Mountaineer for her leadership and work ethic. In 2010, Saffel was named as a Big East Conference Academic All-Star. She also ran track for one season for WVU.

As a graduate student at Marshall University, Saffel competed in cross country and track. She set a MU?record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (11:13.48) and distance medley relay (12:35.10).