Andover Boys Indoor Track Co-Captain Daniel Bae ’23 has been one of the team’s reliable athletes both on and off the track. Against Phillips Academy Exeter (Exeter), he set a new school record in the 300-Meter Dash with a time of 36.12 seconds.
Bae enjoys pushing his teammates who show the drive and determination to get better. His goal as a Co-Captain is nurturing those who aspire to be the best.
“I think I do a good job at making people excited about getting better. I try not to be forceful…When I find those who are interested, I’ll go the extra mile for them. I’ll send them videos on Instagram, about start tips to make them excited about getting better. That’s part of this sport,” said Bae.
According to Jaeyong Shim ’23, Bae provides energy and enthusiasm at meets, often permeating to the rest of the team.
“He just brings such great spirit to the team, and the way in which he shows his competitiveness, his resilience, that kind of spreads towards the entire team…his energy at meets when he’s always one of the first runners to run and he just drops a crazy time, that just really sets the tone for everyone…his leadership kind of influences, you know my leadership and other Captains and leaders’ leaderships… I guess he’s just like the stem…[and he] spreads to the next group of leaders and then it spreads to the entire team,” said Shim.
Bae is a “natural” leader, noted Russell Robinson ’25. Robinson appreciated the constant source of confidence, strength, and encouragement that Bae provided throughout the season.
“I would start off by saying that Daniel is probably one of the most encouraging people I have ever met. Every single time, no matter what, after a race, Daniel never fails to either congratulate me, and just come forward and just tell me not to lose hope and that I have potential and he…never fails to raise my spirits. Another one of his leadership qualities I would say he has is that he just has a great deal of confidence and…that natural leadership capability which is just almost indescribable… People just naturally gravitate towards him because he’s just so good at the sport and just so charismatic and just well-spoken and confident about himself and his skills,” said Robinson.
Bae hopes to lead by connecting with his teammates and creating an inclusive team atmosphere.
“[My leadership is] two prongs, one is personal, so I really try to find willing and curious athletes to form connections with them…and then the second prong is just creativity, we tried to do a lot of different things things with the program this year, like the movie night, and we changed the structure of how the sprinters, jumpers, and hurdlers trained to make it more inclusive, and that was a creative idea. So, it’s those two things. Personal, and creative,” said Bae.
Shim feels that part of what makes Bae special is his determination. Though Bae has struggled with injuries and disappointing races this season, he has never failed to get up and try again, according to Shim.
“He’s a pretty resilient leader. I think it’s hard, being a leader, an athlete-leader, like being part of the team. So whenever he has some struggles, he has some injuries, he has some bad times, he always gets back and the way he bounces back…that itself just sets a good example for the team,” said Shim.
When asked to highlight what he loves about the Andover Track and Field program, Bae acknowledged his teammates.
“It’s always the people. Those are my best friends, the happiest part of my day, and I just honestly love being there, competing, and I love practicing,” said Bae.