Sports

Co-Captain Feature: Abigail Johnson ’19 Models Enthusiasm and Selflessness

E.Ellsweig/The Phillipian

Co-Captain Abigail Johnson ’19 works to encourage her teammates on and off the course.

After joining the cycling team as a Lower, Co-Captain Abigail Johnson ’19 has grown into a role model in both personality and work ethic.

Grace Hitchcock ’20 said, “[Abigail] is definitely the type of captain to lead by example, showing the rest of us what it truly means to be a committed member of the team, training to improve every day in practice and then doing her absolute best at races.”

Although she acknowledges her position as a role model, Johnson also said that she works to lead by connecting with her teammates individually.

“I tend to try to lead by example and I try to be as vocal as possible, but more of who I am is someone who is willing to go and have conversations with people individually,” Johnson said.

According to Head Coach Thayer Zaeder ’83, Johnson is a very passionate rider and already rides with enthusiasm, though it is early in the season. Johnson’s personality is what allows her to be a successful captain, according to Zaeder and Anthony Minickiello ’20.

“She may not be the loudest and rowdiest captain, but Abigail has a sweet smile and a light heart that fosters confidence and excitement in me,” Minickiello said.

“She is sensitive and thoughtful and Abigail leads by…. treating others with respect and also showing a willingness to help others before helping herself,” added Zaeder.

According to Hitchcock, Johnson is a selfless cyclist.

“Last year, Abigail proved that she would do whatever it takes to be the best cyclist she can be not only for herself but for the sake of the rest of the team,” Hitchcock said.

“I think her work ethic and seniority [makes] her a great captain… Abigail inspires our team to work hard and smartly, to trust Coach Zaeder and Coach [Benjamin] Duclos, and to balance fun and focus,” said Minickiello.

Zaeder continued, “Abigail is also acutely aware of the effort and planning that goes on in all areas of the team and in that way she is again unselfish and eager to help out.”

Johnson looks to bond with her fellow riders in order to allow her to become closer to them and help them gain more experience.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone and riding together for the first time. Because with the new and returning athletes, I always look forward to cheering everyone on and having fun riding back with people afterwards in the rally wagon… I’m just looking forward to the whole experience,” Johnson said.

Johnson is also looking forward to helping the new cyclists become comfortable with the sport.

“For cycling, a lot of people come with not a lot of prior experience, whether that’s in cycling or in racing. So, the first thing to do is help people get comfortable on a bike. And riding a road bike or riding with a group of riders… And then beyond that, building the team dynamic and coaching people do the very best that they can in races and in practices,” Johnson said.