After beginning her track career at her former high school in Maryland, Andover Girls Track & Field Captain Sadie Cheston-Harris ’20 became an integral member of the team at Andover when she joined her Lower year. According to her teammates, she radiates positivity and brings a welcoming presence to track.
According to Cheston-Harris, while her friends initially influenced her decision to participate in high school track and field, she grew to love the sport, and she now competes in both Winter and Spring track.
“I started track my Freshman year at my old school since I was new Lower here. I was motivated because my friends encouraged me to do it and I wanted to spend time with them after school and still do a sport, so I decided to do it for both seasons at my old school and also both seasons here. Track was one of my favorite parts of my old school and is definitely one of mine here, I always love it no matter where I go,” said Cheston-Harris.
Cheston-Harris’s favorite part of track and field is the individual aspect of each event, despite the size of the team.
“I loved being part of a team but there was also still that individual aspect, and it was nice to be competing for myself, but also for other people because it made it more fun. Although we only have the 4×400-Meter Relay here in terms of mid-distance relays, I still love the fact that everyone cheers each other on when we’re running, and I love that I have other people to train with who push me to go faster and harder,” said Cheston-Harris.
According to teammates Kiera Suh ’22 and Myra Bhathena ’22, Cheston-Harris always brings a positive energy to the track and is a stellar athlete.
“Sadie is a really great distance runner and all-around athlete, but I think what makes her a really special captain is that no matter the circumstance, no matter how the meet went, or how last practice went, she will always be on the track ready to welcome everyone to practice. Once practice starts, she is a ray of energy in the middle of our circle. We usually start our practice with birthdays, where we circle up and do jumping jacks, and she always has something really positive to say at the beginning of practice,” said Suh.
Bhathena added, “I think she has always [resembled a captain] on the team because she is so inspiring as a leader to all of us and also so personable and friendly on the track and in the locker room. She is someone I look up to, and it is clear that she cares a lot about the team and everyone. She is also a super fast runner and I am excited to see what she does in the future.”
Cheston-Harris has been able to unite the almost 60-person team through her past experiences at Andover and sincerity as an individual, according to Izzy Alvarez ’23 and Suh.
“This season’s team is the largest indoor track team that has ever trained in the Snyder Center and regardless of the team size, Sadie has been able to find a way to form many tight knit bonds between each of the event groups and people. If anyone ever has a problem or concern, she makes it her priority to be there for everyone and that kind of environment makes her a very essential asset to team because it is always important to be able to have a close friend and someone that you can talk to on the team. Sadie is just amazing at this, especially with all of her experience with track, and it is very helpful that we all know that she is always there for us to talk to and get advice from,” said Alvarez.
Suh added, “At first it was really hard, just because of the number of new members to the team this season, but there are the usual traditions. Before our two laps to begin practice, our two captains will do a little chant. It was a little hard for everyone to catch on to that at the beginning of the season but Sadie has really made sure that everyone understood and knew what was going on, so by a few weeks in we could really get it together.”
As Captain, Cheston-Harris emphasizes the importance of being a team player and tries to remind everyone on the team of this before meets and practices.
“I think something that I try to portray to everyone is that the most important part to being on the track team is showing up, trying your best, and then encouraging each other. It’s not always possible to have a great race day and that goes for everyone no matter what events you’re competing in or fast you are. As long as you can show up, have a good attitude, and cheer for other people and count on your teammates to show up and be there for you, it creates a really good team even on days when people aren’t as excited about their performance,” said Cheston-Harris.