One-on-one attention pays off for Sloan
Trinity's Anna Sloan in the 4x100 relay at the West Leyden High School's Track invitational Friday April 13, 2012 | James C. Svehla~for Sun-Times Media
Soccer: at Elmwood Park, noon
The Blazers were scheduled to open the season Tuesday with a home game against St. Ignatius before taking on Elmwood Park in a nonconference contest. Softball: Whitney Young at Trinity, noon
Softball: Whitney Young at Trinity, noon
Updated: April 15, 2013 10:10AM
Trinity sophomore Anna Sloan came close to making the state meet last year in the 100-meter dash.
Her time of 12.94 seconds at sectionals was just two-tenths off the state qualifying mark of 12.74 so the question became: How could she get better?
Her mom, Julianne Sloan, saw the sudden passion Anna was showing when it came to track and she wanted to help in whatever way she could.
In August, Julianne Sloan hired a tutor for Anna, Concordia men’s track and field coach Matt Beisel.
“She had always been much more quiet and introverted growing up and seeing that she wanted to go out and really do something made it more important for me to help her,” Julianne said. “She had a desire to do something and see it through. I wanted to get her the right training so she could get the right skill set to excel at this sport.”
Anna’s initial reaction probably wasn’t what her mom expected.
“In the beginning I wasn’t happy,” Anna said. “I was really nervous because I never had a (private coach) before. I didn’t know what it was going to be like. I thought I could do it on my own.”
Then the training began. It was easy enough in the beginning, when the focus was on mechanics and form. But the training got much more complex and Sloan, who hails from Forest Park, suddenly found herself running with a 20-pound vest, pushing weighted-down carts across the track and jumping small hurdles after sprinting. Sloan also found herself loving the training.
“It made me motivated and I knew it was going to help me make it to state this year,” Sloan said. “I feel like since I trained at Concordia from August to December it made me a better runner. It helped with my endurance and form.”
The moment of truth came in December when Beisel took Sloan onto the track for a timed 100 dash. The result was 12.7, four-hundredths under state qualifying.
“I was really excited and I was proud of myself,” Sloan said. “I really want to make it to state and place there.”
Sloan’s improvement on the track has been evident during the indoor season. She’s run four individual races and posted three wins. Her 200 dash of 27.02 has already bested her best outdoor time last year of 27.5.
“She’s been working hard in the offseason and she’s super passionate and dedicated,” said Renee Koziol, who is in her first year as head coach for Trinity. “I really think she can qualify for state in the 100 and 200. I think one day she’ll make a really good college athlete.”
While her daughter breaking personal records and getting better as a runner has made Sloan’s mom proud, it’s the personal growth that’s been most satisfying.
“She’s felt the sense of accomplishment and it’s just spiraled up for her,” Julianne Sloan said. “If she wants to keep this up, I think she can do almost anything.”