Salute to Seniors: Anna Gardner

Name:  Anna Gardner

School: Scarborough High School

What was your most memorable race/meet? 

The USM Relay Meet when we won the pole vault.  I was really close with my teammates Edie Christian and Kirsten Dennan and we had a lot of fun together.

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years? 

Tia Synder, we have been friendly competitors for 3 years. Her father was even one of my coaches.

What was your greatest accomplishment?  

Tying the Freshman State record for girls pole vault. The record is held by Bethany Dumas who is the best female pole vaulter in Maine state history, so I feel honored to be tied with her.

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your xc/track&field career in high school? 

I would have done more field events so I didn't have to run as much. I figured this a little late, but I really enjoyed pole vault, javelin, and high jump.    Coach Kelly liked me to do running events when I didn't have as many events so that is when I picked up the javelin. I really ended up liking it too.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome? 

I broke my foot at the start of my senior year in indoor track.  I was having really good practices and looking toward a new PR of 11'.   After I was hurt I only got 1 practice one week before indoor states and I managed to finish 3rdwith a 10' clear.    Pole vaulting is something that you have to practice a lot to be strong enough and in a good physical and mental state to be at your best.  I was pretty pleased because I was only at about 75% and I hadn't been able to practice all season.

What will you miss the most? 

I always loved the cake and ice cream social Coach Kelly put on for the girls team for the outdoor season.  It was a relaxing way to have fun with the team and Coach Kelly always brought some of his homemade maple syrup to put over the ice cream... yum...

What advice you would give to younger athletes?  

Do as many field events as you can.

What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

Coach Pelletier always believed in me even when I did not.    His support has made me have more self-confidence. He was my strength and javelin coach. He was very supportive of me in pole vault even  before I started throwing the javelin. He once even brought me a special snack (Lucky Charms) and gave them to me right before one of my last jumps at my junior state indoor meet.   It must have made the difference because I got over the bar and won.  I think it was really his belief in me that made the difference, but the Lucky Charms were a bonus.

How do you feel about missing your senior season due to the coronavirus?   

I was really looking forward to clearing 11'+ feet this year.  I had worked very hard in the offseason and then was hurt indoors so I was looking forward to a strong outdoor season. I am fairly new to javelin and I came in 11th at states last year. My goal was to place in states in the pole vault and javelin.

What are your college plans?  I am going to be attending Merrimack College studying Rehabilitation Sciences.  I plan to go to grad school to become an Occupational Therapist.    I have committed to their track and field team and will be competing in the pole vault and javelin.

Who would you like to say thank you to?     I would like to thank the Patriot Pole Vault Club for giving me a fun place to get some extra practicing in as it is hard to get practice in Maine, especially during the indoor season.  I would also like to thank my coaches, Coach Albert, Coach Pelletier, Coach McQuinn, Coach Ross, Coach Kelly, Coach Synder, Coach Drummey, and Coach Ken from Patriot Pole Vault. I would also like to thank the Scarborough High School athletic trainers for always taking such good care of me.  I would not have been able to compete at indoor states without them my senior year.

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