Holding the school’s triple jump outdoor record, long jump indoor record, as well as its 4×200 meter relay record, Co-Captain Kiera Suh ’22 has been a record breaking competitor for Andover Girls Track and Field. Aside from the marks she will leave in the record book, however, Suh seeks to leave a positive mark on the Andover Track and Field through her leadership.
Suh began track in her sixth grade year. After seeing her brother’s love for the sport, she decided to join a team herself, and has competed ever since.
“I started running track in middle school, and I did it because my younger brother ran on a club team. He was always having a lot of fun trying out the events and I guess I just watched him have the experience of being with a team that is doing all different things and I wanted to try that once I got to middle school,” said Suh.
Suh noted that while track relies seemingly on individuals more so than team unity, developing bonds with fellow teammates and cultivating a team atmosphere is what sustained her interest throughout her career. Meeting and competing alongside runners of all experience levels is something that truly sets track apart from other sports, according to Suh.
Suh said, “You are always meeting new people, everyone is always doing something different, and also, because of that, everyone has different goals. It’s a lot of fun to support one another and their goals. Generally, track is one of those sports where you don’t need a ton of experience to get started. You just need the will to go out to the track and run. I think that’s really great, and it’s a really inclusive sport.”
Throughout her captainship, Suh has tried to emphasize this sense of inclusion and inspire her teammates to try new things. Because Suh was able to find success in open-mindedness regarding new events, she hopes to impart the same mindset onto her teammates in order to spark passion.
“For me personally, it took me a while to find my event. When I was in middle school, I ran long distance. Now, here at Andover, I am a jumper and short sprinter, which is entirely different to my previous event. I think it’s important that people don’t feel tied down on our team, and I want to encourage everyone to explore their options within the sport,” said Suh.
Langan Garrett ’24 acknowledged Suh’s ability to form personal connections with each individual on the team. She highlighted how Suh was able to mitigate her qualms leading up to a race and how her acts of encouragement stuck with her for long afterwards.
Garrett said, “She always expresses an interest in me and how I am doing, and it’s small, but it really makes a difference in my day. I remember last spring, my first 4×400 relay. I didn’t know her very well, but she stood on the sidelines and cheered me on. My nerves and anxiety were really bad leading up to that race, and seeing that kindness and compassion made me feel so much more confident. It was a small thing, but made such a difference in my life and my day. That’s what [Suh] does.”
Fellow Co-Captain Myra Bhathena ’22 shares a similar sentiment to Garrett, praising Suh’s humbleness and team spirit. Bhathena specifically touched on Suh’s after practice workouts, which not only display Suh’s physical capacity, but her ability to lead with empathy and inspiration.
Bhathena said, “Anyone that watches our practices will know what an incredible leader Kiera is. Not only does she strike the perfect balance between being a friend and being a leader, but her work ethic and kindness inspire all of us to do better ourselves. For example, Kiera’s famous ‘Killer Core’ set that she leads at the end of practices leaves all of us in awe of how strong she is, holding a V-Sit for minutes on end while cheering the rest of us on.”
Suh looks to continue her athletic and interpersonal success competing for Yale Track and Field next year.