Anna Walewski: Tenacious Track Star
Anna Walewski ’16 has been running ever since eighth grade at Roger Ludlowe Middle School in Fairfield. Walewski has run year-round for the entirety of her four years at Hopkins, competing on the Cross-Country Team in the fall, Indoor Track in the winter, and Outdoor Track during the spring season.
Walewski understands the hard work needed to succeed. She believes that track, “requires a lot of dedication, and you have to find that within yourself, because no one else can make you run, and when you’re on the track it’s just you and the clock.”
Head Coach Charlie O’Connell called her the most dedicated captain he has coached during his eight-year tenure, saying, “She works to identify the strengths of each member of the team and genuinely cares about the experience of each individual.” Walewski encourages younger teammates to push themselves as much as possible in practice, and to not hold anything back when competing in a race. Co-Captain Lena Gerritz ’17 said, “Anna leads by example; she’s always the first one out to practice and she never takes the easy way out.”
When it comes time for a race, Walewski said, “When I’m running, I just try to count my steps, and focus on the beat, and match my breathing to my steps. So I sort of clear my mind and focus, because if you let your mind wander, you have the possibility of realizing [you’re] in pain.”
At the Penn Relays and Wesleyan Meets against formidably larger public schools, she approached each event like she approaches the sport as a whole. She said, “I focus on every step of the journey, and always try to beat my times. When a race is over, I never want to feel like I could have pushed myself harder than I did.”
As Walewski’s final seasons come to a close, her teammates express how much she has meant to the team. Charlotte Wang ‘17 said, “She is the most dedicated member of our team, striving to make herself and the team the best that it can be.” Lillian Tipton ’18 said, “[Anna is] a great captain and friend. She always tries her very best and pushes herself to the limit. I have enjoyed running with her for the past four years and we will miss her next year.”