Like so many other sixth graders, Anna Spiers was simply looking for a place to meet friends at her new school when she went out for the cross country team. Almost immediately upon suiting up for the team at Matoaca Middle School, she began to make her mark as a premier cross country and track athlete. From there, her strong academic record led her to Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, where coach Jim Holdren has helped mold her into one of the outstanding female runners in Central Virginia.
Anna feels privileged to be able to attend such a high-caliber school,which draws students from 11 localities surrounding the metropolitan Richmond region. She can’t say enough about the program that has stretched her academically, while offering incredible academic freedom. Anna has excelled in the classroom, just as she has done on the track. Her list of prospective colleges includes UVA, William & Mary, Brown, Cornell, Davidson and the United States Coast Guard Academy. In preparing her college list, Anna said, “I’m looking for a place where I can be happy in pursuing my education. I do hope to run in college, but that is more of a secondary goal.”
Holdren has recently been named the Track and Field Coach of the Year by the National Association of High School Coaches. It’s a testament to Holdren that one out of every nine MWGS students is a member of the cross country team.
“Coach has been a real mentor to me,” Anna said. “He has led me to accomplish things I never dreamed possible.”
Anna has personal bests that include 18:14 in 5K cross country, 11:21 in the 3,200 meter, 5:06 in the 1,600 meter, 2:59 in the 1,000 meter and 2:15 in the 800 meter. She is a very diverse distance runner, being able to move up or down in distance as it best benefits her team. Anna hopes to best her personal times at each distance this season, but for her, it is all about team.
“We were looking at this season being a rebuilding year, but everyone has really stepped it up this fall,” she said. “I’m so proud of my team.” She added that the team hoped to win districts before moving on to strong showings at the regional and state Levels.
Warm-up and cool down T-shirts at Maggie Walker bear the inscription “Supergals.” For Anna, the label is factual.