This week’s Wheeler Track Team Senior Spotlight features Chanelle Hammond!
Chanelle Hammond has been doing track for the past five years, and is a proud member of the sprints team. Hammond’s love for track can be traced back to her childhood, and she embraced running early on through natural experience on the playground.
“I used to play tag a lot growing up,” Hammond said. “I really loved it, and I was faster than a lot of the boys!”
Initially inspired to run just for the sheer excitement and joy of it, Hammond says her coaches have all given her the tools necessary to keep that passion burning over the years.
“All the coaches have given me motivation to keep going in some way, shape or form,” Hammond said. “This team is like a family, that’s just what we do here.”
That family-like atmosphere has allowed Hammond to take on a sort of “big sister” role as an upperclassman. She encourages all of her younger, up and coming teammates to take advantage of the time they have in the program.
“If you really enjoy doing this stick with it,” Hammond said. “If you don’t, you’ll regret it in the end. You only get four years, so you might as well make the best of it while you can.”
Hammond has created some incredible bonds of friendship in her time with the track team. She says a significant part of her experience is reaching the end of her high school career alongside the teammates she’s known since freshman year.
“Running with the original people that I started with is a big deal,” Hammond said. “Being able to start this journey with them and now finish it with them is incredible; we’ve come a long way together.”
As an athlete, it is inevitable that countless life lessons will be learned through sport, especially when it comes to track and field. For Hammond, a major take-away is acknowledging just how powerful she can be, and never doubting her capabilities.
“One of my favorite quotes is, ‘Your body can do anything, it’s your mind that needs convincing’,” Hammond said. “I firmly believe that, and will always push myself to accomplish amazing things.”
This mindset will no doubt serve Hammond well in her future, as she plans on attending Ball State University and enrolling in the ROTC program.
“At first I wanted to be a cop,” Hammond explained. “I always wanted to reach out and help people, but biology was really not my thing, so I started doing research about the military and now I feel it’s calling my name.”
The Wheeler High School Track team congratulates Chanelle Hammond on her final season of racing. The Bearcats are incredibly proud to have had a strong, brave, and intelligent young woman like her as part of their ranks for the past four years. The very best of luck to her in the rest of her senior season and beyond!