Anna Connors: A Track Star's Journey

Anna Connors vividly remembers racing on the pavement of her elementary school. Anyone who accepted the challenge of going from the bright yellow railing to the telephone pole and back in the playground, Connors joined.

Challenge accepted.

That was evident in her first full outdoor season as a sophomore at Bangor High School. Still taking on all competitors, and with relative ease. Connors won gold at Maine Class A State Championship with a 200 meter dash personal best of 24.51 and earned runner-up honors in both the 100 and 400 meters. That winter she added indoor titles to her resume, winning both the 55 meter dash and 200 meters, and capping off the season with a top five finish in the 55 at the New England Championships.

As her high school career continued, so did the winning. Junior year Connors pulled off the trifecta, winning the 100, 200, and 400 meter dash at the Class A outdoor meet. Her 400 meter time of 56.01, also a new personal best.

In her final indoor season this winter, she started off with a bang, winning the 200 meter dash at the Boston University John Thomas Terrier Classic in a new state record time of 24.36.

"At that point in my indoor season I was in very good shape, making it possible to run a 24.36 on "The Launchpad" at BU," she said. "It is surreal to think that I am on a list with names like Kate Hall."

However, the meet was bitter sweet. Despite, setting the state record, Connor was immediately humbled by spraining her ankle after the finish line. That set her back a week to let it heal and then begin to slowly build it back up.

"I have never had an ankle injury before so it was something new to experience and come back from," she explained. "I had an amazing PT, Brad Libby, who helped mobilize and strengthen it. I had about one week of training before PVCs and two before the state meet."

Connors remembers running the 400 meter at state and truly giving it all she had, which turned out to be two seconds slower than her usual time, which was definitely not ideal. She was still able to tally another indoor gold winning the 200 meter dash in 25.85, while finishing second in the 400, and third in the 55 meter dash, helping lead the Bangor girls to the team championship.

She calls this indoor season an important learning experience.

"I am extremely proud of my team and their determination at the state meet and throughout the season." she added. "It was certainly challenging, but I learned a lot about my own limits and will."

It was the third consecutive indoor title for the Bangor girls after winning two consecutive outdoors. Connors attributes the success of the program to the trust they have in one another, their ability to execute, and unwavering dedication.

"The dedication I have seen from every member on our team has motivated me many times." she said." Even on hard workout days, everyone shows up and does what needs to be done throughout all the events. The depth of talent we have in each event is another large reason we have been able to accumulate so many points at meets throughout the years."

And who could forget the most important contributors to their success, the coaches. Connors would be remiss to leave out Coach Mosca, Coach Johnson, Coach Holyoke, Coach Sund, Coach Huber, Coach Hackettt, and Coach Lizotte.

"They put in a lot of hard work that often goes unnoticed," she added. For example, my sprint coach, Garrett Johnson, spends a lot of time creating a thorough program for not only sprinters but also jumpers, hurdlers, and vaulters.

With her senior indoor campaign looming, Connors focused on her college recruitment. There were a lot of factors that went into her final decision including the location, coaches, athletes and programs offered at the university. All of which ultimately led her to Storrs, Connecticut, and the University of Connecticut.

"By making my decision fairly early in the year, I have been able to focus on school and my indoor and outdoor seasons," she noted. "It was definitely a relief to have that decision behind me and to be able to look forward to my future at UCONN."

Now that her future home has been cemented, Connors can enjoy her last season at high school with her friends and coaches that have been a huge part of her life. She hopes to live in the moment, even the stressful ones, and make unforgettable memories, get through the season healthy and strong, with times she can be proud of.

"My times will eventually be surpassed and my records were meant to be broken," she said. "When all is said and done, I want to be remembered for the resilience and commitment I displayed throughout my highs school years."

Get To Know Anna

Is there anything people may not know about you?
I love cats, I have two at home.

If you were stranded on an island with three things, what would they be and why?
If I were stranded on an island with three things I would need my cats, a Chipotle, and music!

What gets you fired up before track meets?
I always need to get my hair braided and listening to music always gets me ready for meets.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." -Steve Prefontaine