In just her second year on the team, Charlotte Whitehurst ’22 has established herself to be one of the top distance runners of Andover Girls Indoor Track & Field. According to Assistant Coach Patrick Rielly, Whitehurst is known to be a constant beam of happiness for the entire team while also consistently putting effort into her craft.
“[Whitehurst is] a really hard worker and has infectious energy. She’s super positive, always supportive of her teammates [with] really positive energy. She’s a fantastic athlete, she works really hard and she’s really focused on improving, and I think every day is an opportunity for her to improve and she takes it,” said Coach Rielly.
Due to her relentless work ethic, steady commitment, and bright attitude, Whitehurst has earned The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.
What made you start running?
I started running [my Junior] winter. I used to play basketball… [and] I said, you know what? Snyder is open, it’s new, [and] I’ve heard it’s a great team, so I’ll just try that out, and I definitely would never go back. It’s been a wonderful experience. I’m so glad I decided to come here and do something new.
Which events do you run?
I’ll run anything from the girls 4×400 [relay] to the two mile, with a focus on distance and mid-distance for sure, the mile and 1000 [meter races], but I’m pretty flexible.
How do you train for your distance events?
We go outside nearly every day which is definitely an experience. It’s really cold, so we bundle up, and we’re out there jogging around so if you see us, say hi, but we’ll just run. We’ll have a couple of workouts a week, and those are more sprint-based, lots of repeats, and we’ll run hills, but when we’re not doing that we go just on runs around Andover.
How do your coaches influence your experience on the team?
Coach [Benjamin] Duclos and Coach Rielly are our two main distance leaders, and they are so wonderful. They make a workout for us every day, and they have all our splits, and they’re so organized and supportive. They’ve never said anything to me that’s negative or makes me feel bad about myself. They always know how to keep you going when you want to quit, and they bring a lot of energy.
[Head] Coach [Rebecca] Hession is the girls track coach, and she is so energetic every day. I have no idea how she does it, but she comes, and she’s bouncing and smiling, and she just gets everyone really excited to be part of the team.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
Especially with longer events like the two miles, you’re going around that track like 16 times. It gets so repetitive and boring. However, I just definitely really enjoy it, especially racing and going against other competitors. There’s a rush to it, and then the practices are great too, because I get to talk to so many people as I run, so it’s definitely never boring. The track team keeps me on my toes. It’s something that I really enjoy because it’s fun to race.
Do you have any aspirations for the rest of your track career?
We have Andover/Exeter this Wednesday, [and] we want to ‘wreck the Ex’ in that. Then, we have a couple wrap-up meets. I’m definitely chasing a couple of records—right now, I’m one second away from the 1000-meter record, and I really want that one, so I’m hoping to focus and finish strong with those and just spend more time with the team, especially all the girls in distance because they’re the greatest people ever.