Student athlete profile

Elyssa Chandler



When did track become a pursuit?

Freshman year. I'd never really considered track, but people encouraged me to try out for a sport. I ended up doing track. I like the atmosphere of the team. It was nice to be pushed to do something new.

Did you expect to become a hurdler?

Never. I was interested by it but I also got impatient because of all the drills. We practiced on lower hurdles and one day I decided to run full speed at the 30-inch hurdles. I tripped and did a somersault over a hurdle, and I didn't do hurdles any more because my coach thought I was crazy. But eventually I went back to them.

How have you improved since freshman year?

I've been training under a variety of coaches and have changed my form and speed. I've also learned to take three steps between hurdles and now can do that while maintaining my rhythm.

How would your teammates describe you?

Very passionate about the sport and very hardworking - and kind, I hope.

Do you have any pre-meet rituals?

Before I get into the blocks, I do the same set of quick stretches and arm circles to get ready. Then I make sure to push myself back into the blocks so my body is facing forward.

What are your goals for the season?

I want to qualify for state again in the 300-meter hurdles. I also hope to work on my pole vault skills and maybe go to state with that. And I want to go to state with some relays again.

Are you involved in other Central activities?

I'm in robotics club and was in the drama club's one-act plays last month.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I want to be managing a software team at a medium-sized company, living in a smaller metropolitan area.

Who's your role model?

My mom is my role model. She taught to do everything in moderation and that too much of anything can be a bad thing.

Why does coach Pat Richards like having Chandler on the squad?

She is competitive and extremely focused on her goals. She's an instrumental part of our 4x00 meter relay and she's a hurdler as well. Elyssa can pretty much do it all. She's just a workaholic.

- profile by Ken Knutson, photo by Jim Slonoff