Yale track captain’s road to success

Courtesy: Yale Athletics

Amanda Snajder, an incoming senior at Yale University in New Haven, has recently been voted in as captain of the women’s track team.

Looking back on her past experiences, it is not surprising that she has become such a success on and off the track. As a former track and field teammate of Snajder’s at Masuk High School, I have watched her grow into her role as student athlete and leader.

Cross Country and Track and Field coach David Shoehalter attests to her leadership abilities with a glowing testimony on the Bulldogs’ website.

“Amanda has been a terrific leader both on and off the track,” Shoehalter said. “She’s a dedicated, hard-working athlete who has always set a positive example for the team.”

The fact that Snajder was chosen by her teammates to represent and lead them to success is telling about her character. Shoelalter agrees.

“I’m sure that she’ll continue to do what she does so well as our 2013-14 track and field captain,” he said.

Through childhood gymnastics, high school soccer, and track and field, Snajder became athletically inclined at a young age.

I have always believed that her experience in gymnastics has helped her succeed in events such as the high jump. Snajder’s body awareness and ability to mold her form to perfection is undoubtedly something that cannot be acquired overnight.

Her success in longer distance events comes from perseverance and her dedication to not only track, but also soccer, which tested her endurance at a young age. In high school, Snajder found her forte in hurdles; something which helped her get her start in college athletics and has been a major part of her success.

Her athleticism certainly hasn’t reached a plateau. In fact, Snajder continues to reach new heights every day. During this past season, she reached personal bests in the long jump, shot put, and pentathalon. She is also the current Yale record holder in the pentathalon- an event in which the athlete must compete in the shot put, long jump, high jump, 60-meter hurdles, and an 800-meter run.

She is certainly an inspiration to her teammates when it comes to working hard and reaching goals. However, fast times alone are not enough to lead a team.

As someone who has seen Snajder’s abilities firsthand, I can attest to her strong work ethic and leadership skills. As captain of Masuk High School’s track team, she was always willing to go the extra mile for her teammates, and she has surely carried this attitude with her to Division I athletics.

Snajder looks forward to her captainship, and hopes that she can serve as a valuable resource for her teammates.  “If there’s something I’ve learned about being part of this team it’s how important leadership is and what an impact even one person any person—can have on others’ performances and enthusiasm for what they are doing,” she said.

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