Liu draws parallels between throwing and different movements in volleyball.
“I picked it [track] up on a whim, it was definitely not in my radar especially because volleyball was my main sport before. Once spring rolled around, I wanted to try something new, as a lot of Andover things happen, and I originally was not a thrower either, so I tried that out on a whim as well. I tried it out freshman year. I originally started sprinting, but found more of my niche through throwing, especially since it has similar movement as volleyball. I felt like I had more preparation for that,” said Liu.
Following the examples of past captains, Liu has learned how to unite a large and diverse team, despite the individual nature of the sport.
“I’ve learned so much from past captains about how to make it a team sport, and about learning how to become cohesive and support each other, both on the track and off the track as well. We always send pre-meet emails, and I think that that’s a really good way to communicate with the team and to ensure that we set great goals and have good aspirations for meets and practices,” said Liu.
Teammate Sadie Cheston-Harris ’20 added, “Although the track team is very diverse and consists of many events, Serena has been great at supporting and reaching out to all members of the track team and creating an inclusive environment through her welcoming personality and love for the sport.”
In large team and smaller, more focused group settings, Liu’s enthusiasm serves as a source of assurance and motivation for her teammates, according to Ridley Warner ’22 and Cheston-Harris.
Warner said, “She’s always really excited to be helping out the team and cheers us on, asking us questions, and always makes sure that we are having a really fun time. She uses our team meetings as a way to separate us a little bit, to speak to us in small groups, but also to create a cohesive team bonding experience.”
“Serena is a captain that leads by example, through her kindness and welcoming spirit. She is always excited for practice and meets, and through her excitement, makes others excited as well,” added Cheston-Harris.
Liu positive outlook and emphasis on team unity creates a cohesive environment, according to Lillie Cooper ’21.
Cooper said, “Track is interesting because everyone does individual events, but it’s such a big team. and Even though [Serena’s] a thrower, she’s always there to cheer everyone on during practice or during meets and she always has a smile on her face. She’s a natural and really enthusiastic leader, so I think we all radiate off of her energy.”
Utilizing her leadership skills, Liu strives to create a team community of the track through team dinners, and interactions with her teammates around campus, according to Cooper.
“She always says ‘hi’ on the paths and I know I can go to her about anything outside of track. I think everyone on the team knows this as well, and feels comfortable going to her for support outside of practice,” said Cooper.
Despite the individualism of the sport, the team is united by the overall program and has built a supportive environment, according to Liu.
Liu said, “The people definitely make it so much more fun, especially because even though we are all doing different events, and sometimes we don’t see each other during practices because we are in different events, we always have something to relate to. Whether or not it’s aspiring towards [getting a personal record] at the next meet, we all know that we will support each other in anyway, and that we will push our teammates to work harder on the track. And I think that’s all really important and is why I love track so much.”