Best of Sacramento 2015: Sports & Recreation

Best returning champ: Stacey Noble

Stacey Noble, Miss Black Sacramento turned international track champion.

Stacey Noble, Miss Black Sacramento turned international track champion.

Photo by Darin Smith

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When Stacey Noble was a young girl, she would sit on the roof of her two-story Rosemont home and meditate.

“I felt peace at the top,” she says.

Indeed, the top is where Noble feels most comfortable. The Sacramento native is ranked better than 10th nationally in seven USA Masters Track & Field events, and second in the pentathlon—a grueling run-jump-throw combo requiring unique movement patterns and attentive muscle control.

It’s a balancing act, in other words, which has become Noble’s specialty in both sports and life.

Mother of two. Full-time sixth-grade teacher. Recording artist. And, now, an international champion at age 45.

The former Miss Black Sacramento was always competitive, from the time she started running in elementary school. A standout track star at Hiram Johnson High School, Noble continued displaying her athletic skills in college, at both UC Berkeley and Sacramento State.

But a two-decade hiatus from formal competition left her flat-footed. “I was doing everything for others and not enough for me,” she says. “I had to get selfish to save my life.”

Noble stepped back onto the track last year. The rust never knew what hit it.

In July, she won five medals at the Masters Championships in Florida, including a gold medal in the discus toss—after first singing the national anthem. The next month, she was one of 426 athletes competing for Team USA in the World Masters Athletics outdoor track & field championships in Lyon, France.

Due to an unexpected ankle sprain, Noble withdrew from several events, including the heptathlon. But she somehow mustered enough grit to compete in the long jump and high jump events.

“You have to be who you are,” Noble reflects. “Anything else, I’ve learned, and you will not be content.”

Spoken like a true champion.