In her junior campaign with the women’s track and field team, Amanda Snajder ’14 set the school record in the pentathlon during the 2012–’13 indoor season with 3658 points and set personal best records in high jump, long jump, shot put, javelin toss and the heptathlon. Following her stellar season, Snajder was elected captain of the 2013–’14 team. In a preseason interview, Snajder discusses the goals, changes and outlook for the upcoming season.
Q: How has the team changed from last season?
A: Since last season, we have gotten some new faces. We have jumpers, sprinters, throwers and a fair amount of new people coming in. We graduated a lot of seniors, but we gained a lot of people that are ready and excited to contribute to the team. There are a lot of people that are working hard and are invested in what we are doing as a group.
Q: What are some of the team’s goals for the season?
A: Placing higher at Heps and being more confident as we take on each meet. We want to look at each meet as a point to jump off of. Each meet should be a way to build our confidence a little bit more so come the end of the season at the Ivy championships we can be confident as a group and we can make a presence at Ivies.
Q: What will the team need to improve on from now until the end of the season to achieve those goals?
A: One thing is learning how to, as a group, inspire each other. We do it in workouts all the time and it is a full team effort to get everyone excited and ready to go. Besides that, we are very good at being driven and excited about what we are doing. It’s about using each other’s energy to push that much harder and get that extra lap in. We all work together with each other and for each other.
Q: What was a highlight from last season and how does the team hope to build on it?
A: Toward the end of the season, you could really see people’s hard work paying off and I think that when you see people attaining the performances they want, it gets everyone excited about what they are doing.
Q: Where will the team succeed this year?
A: I think that we have a lot of returning athletes who are looking really strong right now and new people across the board in distance events, sprinting events and throwing events. Overall, we are looking really strong and I wouldn’t say any particular group is unbalanced.
Q: Is the team doing anything new this season?
A: We are beginning a new training program that everyone is on board with and we think it will make us stronger and faster as a unit. Our throwing coach took control of our weightlifting, so it is designed more with the trajectory of our season in mind. It is something that people have seen results with already so they are confident moving forward. On the track, people are taking to the rhythm the coaches have established this year and that is also leaving runners feeling more confident.
Q: How do you think the Yale track program is progressing as a whole?
A: I would say we’ve been slowly building and collecting all of the resources from coaches to equipment to facilities to the athletes on the team to put us in a position to be really great. We may be small in numbers but the dedication of the team from the coaches to everyone that competes is just tremendous. Moving forward, things look really great. We just put in a new turf field, more jumping pits and our indoor track was just resurfaced. A lot of investment of time and effort has been put into the program and the athletes are really responding well to that.
Snajder is a History of Science and Medicine major in Berkeley College.