Meet the girls’ track captains

Juniors, senior take on leadership roles

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Meet the girls’ track captains

Junior track captain Anna Jennisen runs during practice warm ups March 21.

Junior track captain Anna Jennisen runs during practice warm ups March 21.

Sam St. Clair

Junior track captain Anna Jennisen runs during practice warm ups March 21.

Sam St. Clair

Sam St. Clair

Junior track captain Anna Jennisen runs during practice warm ups March 21.

Yonit Krebs and Breanna Thompson

As track concludes its second week of practices, senior captain Anna duSaire said she hopes to build a closer-knit team this year.

“I think the team can be a little bit more cohesive than it has been in the past,” duSaire said. “A lot of times it ends up being the sprinters in one area and the distance runners in another, so I am hoping that we could be a little bit more cohesive and people can get to know each other across areas.”

According to boys’ and girls’ track head coach Richard Keith, the captains completed an application last year and were selected by their peers.

“The girls filled out a questionnaire if they’re interested late in the season last spring to be a captain,” Keith said. “Then they turn them into (Christine Tvrdik) — I’m not exactly sure what the entire criterion is. Then the team votes, and they disclose who they are at the banquet.”

duSaire said she has been running track since sixth grade and has competed on the Park high school team since her freshman year.

“Track is a really big part of my life and I really enjoy it,” duSaire said. “I started running with the St. Louis Park club team, Park Flyers. I started with a friend of mine, and I’ve been running ever since.”

Junior captain Anna Jennisen said ever since joining the team her freshman year, her favorite parts of track are the practices.

“I think I love practices because everyone just works really hard and is willing to work,” Jennisen said. “People are just very supportive of each other. Even though it is an individual sport, people are always cheering each other on, and it is a very fun environment to be a part of.”

Keith said the captains are expected to act as an extension of the coach, keeping the team motivated and working hard.

“What I know of the girls that are captains, they’re all good their leaders verbally as well as performance — they lead by example too,” Keith said. “We started that leadership training programs for all captains, so they’re going to be going through that and picking up areas in learning to focus on, areas that might be their strengths as well as their weaknesses.”

Junior captain Olivia Mosby, who is herself a distance runner, said the diverse track events this year’s captains represent contributes to their ability to be effective leaders.

“I think that we kind of balance each other out well,” Mosby said. “We have Anna duSaire, and she is a sprinter and a jumper, so she gets to kind of represent those groups, and then Anna Jennisen, she runs mid-distance as well as sprints so that gives us also a variety of perspectives. Then I think it’s good to have a captain from the distance group because we go and run separately.”

According to Keith, there are lots of benefits to having junior captains.

“I prefer to have a junior partly because my mantra has always been that as a junior as much as you really want to step out and you want to be verbal and vocalize, it’s tough to do so because you have seniors, and it’s tough to try to speak over the seniors,” Keith said. “It’s a nice learning curve for them their junior year so that by the time they’re seniors they’re better equipped.”

According to gopark.org, girls’ track and field’s first meet is 4 p.m. April 5 at Park.

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