Sports

Co-Captain Colleen Flanagan ’10 : Girls Indoor Track

Captain Colleen Flanagan ’10 astounded her audience in winter track this season, breaking Andover’s 13 year-old polle-vaulting record with a jump of 8 feet, 7 inches. The previous record stood at 8 feet 6.5 inches, just barely below Flanagan’s jump. “It was such a relief to finally achieve the record, because I had my mind on it for a long time. It was also exciting for my teammates, who knew how badly I wanted it, and who have seen me be so close and miss it a few times,” said Flanagan. Flanagan began pole vaulting her Junior year when she joined Andover’s spring track team. “Long jump was my big thing in Middle School, but when I came here I wanted to try something new. I wasn’t that great junior year, and could hardly get over the bar. Things really started clicking for me my lower year,” said Flanagan. Despite her natural talent and hard work ethic, Flanagan faced some difficulties Upper year when she developed stress fractures in her legs and had to sit out the last third of the season. “I was devastated,” said Flanagan. especially when she had to forgo her long-term goal of breaking the record. “The indoor cage wasn’t good for my legs, but fortunately they healed just in time for spring track.” As Co-Captain, Flanagan acts as a strong leader and acts as a role model for her team. Because the girls’ winter track team is small, Flanagan willingly raced many events that aren’t her best in order to fill the vacant slots and earn points for her team. Her most common individual events were the 300 and the 50. She says he favorite event is the 4×400 meter relay. “Track is such an individual sport, but I love the team orientation of relays. Everyone works together and races for each other,” said Flanagan. Even though Flanagan stands out as a leader, she said that she values her teammates and pushes everyone else to perform their best too. Flanagan admitted with a smile that she would be happy for her teammates should any go after her new record. Flanagan ended her season with an impressive record, winning all but one pole-vault competition and all but two of her 300 meter races. Because there is no winter track Interscholastic Meet, Andover’s last official race was against Exeter. Flanagan developed close friendships with her teammates and she said that she is sad that the season is over. “Spring track is more competitive, but it is such a large team that it is often difficult to know everyone really well. I am really going to miss the intimacy of a small team like winter track.,” she said. She continued, “I’m especially going to miss my Co-Captain Mike Ma, who has had such a profound impact on this team, and who is going to leave huge shoes to fill.” Flanagan has high hopes for this spring, as she aims to capture the Spring Track pole-vault record of 9 feet, 7.5. inches. “The record was set my Junior year by a Senior, who laughed at me when I told her I wanted to break it,” said Flanagan. “I know the record will be tough to achieve, but I’ve come a long way since Junior year, and I think the longer ten-week spring season will help me.” Flanagan hopes to pole vault for a Division III school in college. As for now, she looks forward to her final Spring Track season, where she will lead the team as Girls Captain.