Running Wild

Despite injury, girls track captain Franzi Wild won’t be sidelined


Elena Liao

O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN. Franzi Wild, left, looks over a heat sheet with co-captain Hannah Herrera at the first Midway Miles meet Feb. 23. While injured and unable to run for part of the indoor track season, Franzi has made an effort to stay intertwined in the team’s athletic and social aspects.

Priyanka Shrijay, Opinion Editor

Despite the sharp pain in her left leg and the burden of a heavy walking boot, when it comes to her cheering on the track team, captain Franzi Wild just can’t be tamed.

Franzi, a sophomore, has actively supported her team in January and early February despite a tibia fracture. While upperclassmen typically take on leadership roles, Franzi’s positivity, hard work and commitment earned her a leadership role, which she maintained while attending meets and spending time with the team.

If you can be an example and you can work really hard in workouts, you can really pull other people with you, and other people will really want to do the same thing.”

— Franzi Wild

In early January, Franzi noticed pain in her left tibia. Her doctor revealed that she had a stress fracture, and she was put into a walking boot for six weeks. Because she could not run, Franzi swam with the boys swimming team and biked. She also attended the track team’s core workouts to stay in shape and to be with the team.

While her injury frustrated her, Franzi kept a positive mindset. She didn’t focus on limitations due to injury but found new activities.

“I think really part of it was being positive. I also think just the fact that I didn’t take time off of working out showed people that you can still stay in reasonably good shape even if you’re not allowed to run. I think that’s sort of just a good message to send,” she said. “I also think it really helped to still go to meets and still hang out with the team even if it wasn’t training with them, just so I could see these people that I’m so close and connected to.”

According to Franzi, she and co-captain Hannah Herrera rose to their roles because many of the team’s seniors graduated, and the two of them were among the older runners.

Franzi found her bubbly personality helps her connect with freshmen. She noted that she enjoys watching freshmen runners get excited about the sport when they see her excitement.

“On a really big day for a meet, me and Hannah would each give a little bit of a speech while we were huddled up in a circle before we race,” she said. “To see the freshmen get really excited about that, and to see that motivate the freshmen is a really powerful thing.”

Hannah corroborated Franzi’s connection with freshmen, noting that she has been a role model for freshman Viviana Glick just by talking with her and being positive throughout her injury.

Hannah also discussed that Franzi’s way of inspiring the team by setting a positive example.

“I know she wants to run at ISL for the team and for herself. So that’s basically what she’s been doing. Taking care of herself is much more important and that’s kind of the way she’s contributing,” she said. “We all know that Franzi’s an amazing runner; she’s run at state before. She’s just a very good person and a good captain.”

According to Franzi, setting an example for the rest of the track team, even and especially through her injury, is an integral part of being a leader.

“If you can be an example and you can work really hard in workouts, you can really pull other people with you, and other people will really want to do the same thing,” she said. “I think that that’s a really cool thing to see. If you have sort of unofficial leadership or leadership that is very positive in how it behaves — because running is ultimately such a hard thing to do — I think that just really makes the team better. I really like that about the leadership role.”