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Terrific Tiger: BHS senior perseveres after injury, receives track and field scholarship

As the editor of Belton High School’s yearbook, senior Sela Anderson learned firsthand how to manage a staff.

“Being in there is kind of like a mini office, so I feel I know how to do deal with the stress and pressure of work,” Anderson said. “I make sure the designers know how to do [Adobe] Photoshop and InDesign on the computer…for the writers, I help them create the layouts for the page and work with a company to create the actual book.” 

The management skills Anderson acquired in the position have extended beyond the classroom. “It keeps me really organized. It’s a lot of time outside of school, and I’m also involved in sports, so I know how to manage my time well,” she said. 

It’s no easy task though coordinating a schedule that included, on top of academics, participating in five sports -- cross country, volleyball, powerlifting, track and field, and basketball. During her four years competing for the Lady Tiger cross country team, Anderson helped them achieve four district titles and four regional qualifier meets.

“I’ve been running track since I was five-years-old,” the captain of track and field team said. “It’s been a really good experience, but also a rocky one. I was on varsity my freshman year because I had the fastest time, beating out seniors. Then my sophomore year I injured my right hip. Then my junior year was a big year when I broke the school record. And then my senior year, injured my right hip.”

“One of the most talented kids I’ve ever been around,” Belton High School track and field coach Earven Flowers said about the senior hurdler. “Sela is one of the best athletes in the school. She is one of those kids that is gritty. She ended up getting hurt this past track season, and she was actually still running with an injury she needed surgery on. So that is the type of guts that she has.”

Sela Anderson

After her injury, Sela leaned heavily on Coach Flowers and girls powerlifting head coach Tom Cipolla for support. “Even if I just slightly look off, they immediately know something is wrong and they ask me about it. They make a safe space so I know that I can go to them about anything, if it has to do with home, school, sports, all of that. I just feel safe talking to them, like an open diary,” she said.

“It makes it easy, the ideal student athlete that you would like. It definitely feels great to have someone like her on your side, as an ace in the hole,” Flowers said.

Anderson’s leadership strengths have also been developed through Belton High’s involvement in the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate initiative, where she has been an ambassador. The ADL’s No Place for Hate initiative is a school-wide program that focuses on the promotion of diversity and a culture of togetherness.  

“Being a leader in No Place for Hate has made me feel better because I feel like I’m the start of something,” Anderson said. “I know not all the problems can be fixed, but I know I am a part of trying to fix them and helping other students at BHS.”

She hopes to continue these important efforts, as well as her athletic career, when she starts Southwestern College in Kansas this fall on a track and field scholarship.

Joshua Wucher
June 3, 2019