Coach Chapman Takes the Lead on the Track Field


Abigail Felan

Coach Jennifer Chapman stands in front of the Gables track before a meet.

Ava Cosgrove, Staff Writer

After finding out Coral Gables Senior High was in need of a new track and field coach, English to Speakers of Other Languages teacher Jennifer Chapman stepped up and took on the role of coach alongside Michel Fotso for the 2022 season.

Having worked at L.A. Fitness as a trainer prior to her time at Gables, Chapman has some experience in coaching. While she was in high school, the teacher was also a student-athlete and played softball and volleyball, an experience that gave her knowledge in the realm of high school sports. Despite never having run track, Chapman knows she can catch on, especially with the help of other players.

“I played softball my whole life, and I notice in track when it comes to the throwers I definitely have some experience there,” Jennifer Chapman said.

I think Coach Chapman has made a great addition to the track team, it’s my first year in track and I think she’s doing a really good job in helping us push ourselves and do our best in the sport, I’m really excited to see what the season has in store for us,

— sophomore Amalia Garrido

Beginning at 2:45 p.m., the start of practice usually consists of running half a mile and doing dynamic stretches. Once the warmup is over, the team divides into distance and sprint events with the latter being led by Chapman. These exercises work to create better stamina, a skill that Chapman deems vital when running track.

Experience as a teacher has helped Chapman with her coaching skills as she has brought on some of her classroom techniques onto the field. She treats both her students and athletes with positivity and a supportive attitude, a habit that she calls her secret to helping athletes grow.

Focusing on training sprinters, jumpers and throwers, Chapman makes it an effort to always listen to her athletes and fit their needs. Letting players test their limits and try out new things has allowed the coach to learn about the sport and find drills that work for athletes of every level. Her main priority is to give students the space to grow as runners and become confident in their abilities.

Chapman plans on continuing with coaching track and field, striving to learn as much as possible as the years go on. Her advice to anyone planning to partake in any sports, both in and out of track, is to have desire, discipline and dedication. These three “Ds” are what have both brought her out onto the field as a coach and what she knows will help others succeed as well.