April 1, 2022 | SPORTS | By Samwel Makyao | Photo Courtesy of April Kwan
April Kwan ’24 is a member of the CC Track and Field team and hails from Weston, Mass. She enjoys reading, cooking, and a fun fact about her is that she has a pet turtle. We met with April in Tutt Library and discussed her Track and Field career at Colorado College. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Samwel Makyao: Why did you choose to run Track and Field?
April Kwan: Honestly, I have no idea. I was at a transitional time, and I fell into the sport by chance. I played field hockey in the fall and figure skating year-round. My school didn’t really have winter sports. However, once spring came, I didn’t know what to do with my afternoons, so I just joined the track team my first year of high school. It was the best decision.
Makyao: How does it feel to represent the Tigers?
Kwan: It’s an amazing opportunity to represent the Tigers. This is the last time in life that I’ll get to do something like this, ever. So I’ll take it and try to make the most out of it. Knowing how amazing my teammates are makes me proud to do it. The women on this team are amazing – especially our seniors: Mar Jackson, Ma Ewing, and Mabel Gardner. I credit so much of my experience to them. They’ve done more for this team than I think anyone will ever fully understand. In my time at CC, we’ve had to adjust to compete with COVID-19 and have gotten a new head coach and new athletic trainers – there’s been so much change. But these senior women have guided this team through all of it and seeing them exemplify what it means to be leaders makes me so proud to be on this team and be a Tiger. Additionally, all the other lovely women on the team are amazing as well. They make me very proud of what I am doing.
Makyao: What drives you to be the best?
Kwan: Knowing that college is only four years, and this is the only chance I’ll have to compete at the collegiate level encourages me to make the most of it. Make the most of learning the sport and being my best. But also enjoying my relationships with my teammates, creating the best culture that I can, and being a part of something special.
Makyao: What do you want to achieve in the next five years?
Kwan: That’s a hard question. My track goal would definitely be to win a team SCAC league title. It’s an ambitious goal, and we’re a small team in comparison to some of the others. But that would be awesome. Personally, I always thought it would be cool to be able to jump as high as my height, 5-foot-4. I’m super close – my personal record is 5-foot-3. That’s always been a weird goal of mine. In terms of life goals, I want to make the most of my time here at CC and wherever I end up after. I want to learn more, live more, and experience new things to see where life takes me.
Makyao: Who is your idol, and why?
Kwan: My older sister, Charlene. We’re really close, and she’s always been someone I look up to. She’s always been there for me. She’s the most resilient person I know, brilliant and smart. I definitely constantly try to be more like her.
Makyao: Who or what gives you the most inspiration?
Kwan: From an athletic standpoint, my teammates inspire me the most. They’re awesome. I think that something unique about Track and Field as a sport is that a good team is a diverse team. You need everything from your long-distance runners to your throwers. From that comes such different personalities and so many people to meet and look up to. Each person fits in perfectly while maintaining a unique position on the team, and once it all comes together, that makes an excellent team. I’m not saying we’re super put together or have equal depth in all events, but seeing it all come together is inspiring because that makes us a team. It’s a beautiful experience.
Makyao: What are your top principles for success in Track and Field?
Kwan: I can only speak for the jumper/hurdler/sprinter side of Track and Field. Since most of my events are so technically focused, I would say being strong, explosive, having good form, being patient, precise, and having rhythm is essential. There will be good days and bad, and it’s about owning those bad days and accepting them for what they are, getting through them, and moving on to the next. At meets, jumping is a mental game to me, not a physical one. At that point, I know the physical condition of my body. When I arrive at the meet-in, it’s just about getting down the mental stuff—staying calm and calculating every stride.
Makyao: What is your pre-meet routine?
Kwan: You can catch me always listening to music, putting on my left spikes before my right, and chatting away with teammates. Also, I’m always wearing fun socks. I can’t jump without the fun socks! All of it just helps me calm my nerves and get into the right headspace to be doing highly technical and explosive movements.
Makyao: Name any top five of your best workout tips.
Kwan: Probably you shouldn’t be taking workout tips from me, but I’d say have goals and be consistent. Those are critical guiding points for motivation and having a sense of direction or structure in whatever you do. Most importantly, have fun with it!
Makyao: What is your favorite pump-up song?
Kwan: Sexy Villain by Remi Wolf. I don’t have any good reason for it, it just came to be somehow.