Sally Zimmer Knight ’81


Sally was a four year performer in both cross-country and track and captain of both squads, but her outstanding Wesleyan career was just the beginning of a lifetime devoted to running.

Sally has run more than 40 marathons and she was one of more than 150 women to compete in the first-ever United States Olympic Marathon Trials in Olympia WA prior to the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. She placed 63rd in those Trials. She also competed in the 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials held in Pittsburgh, Pa. Each time, Sally was the top finisher from Connecticut.

Her best showing in the Boston Marathon was a 17th place finish among female entrants in 1985. She ran the event several times with a best time of 2:49:53 in 1983.

Her favorite races, which she now runs annually with her husband, Peter Knight ’87, and sons Miles and Tate, are the five-mile Backcountry Bushwhack in Greenwich CT and the 5k Chilmark Road Race on Martha’s Vineyard. Sally holds multiple titles in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills Road Race and the East Lyme Marathon including a Connecticut record time in the latter. Sally was the top female distance runner in Connecticut throughout the 1980s posting a best marathon time of 2:44:25. During these years, she represented Team Adidas in marathons in Bermuda, Canada, Japan and Australia, and she served as a guest speaker at numerous international running club gatherings.

Sally grew up in the South Pacific and first ran as a high school freshman in the Kingdom of Tonga. Before coming to Wesleyan she moved to near-by Portland CT. While at Wesleyan she had numerous top finishes in regional cross-country and track events to her credit. She ran a sub-three-hour marathon as a collegian and left Wesleyan with school records in the mile (5:07.3) and the 1500m (4:43). After graduation taught and coached at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. She surprised the athletic director there by eagerly accepting the head boy’s cross-country coaching spot while also handling the distance runners for boy’s track and field, making her a veritable pioneer in the prep-school circles. Sally took an exchange position in Melbourne, Australia for a year in 1989-90 and while there competed in the Melbourne Marathon. She took time off in 1990-91 to earn her Master’s degree in counseling. Sally teaches junior and senior English at Loomis.