Hamilton senior Sherilynne Chensam competed on the girl’s basketball, cross country and track and field teams (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Hamilton senior Sherilynne Chensam has always loved playing basketball but competing would occasionally become overwhelming to her. When she felt her passion for basketball slipping away, she took a two-year hiatus during her freshman and sophomore years.

“Playing defense, I have the biggest smile on my face,” Chensam said. “You start overthinking and I feel like I was just losing my love for the game.”

During that time, Chensam competed in cross country and track and field. The first month of being on the cross country team was difficult but Chensam refused to quit.

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Her determination paid off in 2022 when Chensam placed 25th in the Division I City Section cross country finals. Her 20:54.4 record was the third best on the team which helped Hamilton come in fourth place.

“One reason why I also like running as opposed to basketball is because it’s more like an individual sport,” Chensam said. “I’m not having to think how much my mistakes affect my team.”

Improving her personal record were moments she took pride in while in cross country. She also enjoyed the camaraderie of her teammates and opponents.

“There’s so many schools there, you’re running with 200 people up a course,” Chensam said. “After a run, everyone’s really friendly … it’s a really nice atmosphere to be around.”

In track and field, Chensam runs the 1600m, the 800m and the 4x400m. As a senior, Chensam helped the girl’s basketball team to a 25-7 overall record and an 11-1 Western League record. The Yankees reached the CIF City Section Open Division semifinals and the second round of the CIF State Division II playoffs. Her proudest moments are when the team is scoring.

“I don’t remember my games but it’s more of a feeling that resonates with the game,” Chensam said. “Games where I feel like my energy is going or uplifting my teammates.”

For Chensam, being a student athlete is knowing how to balance both academic and athletic obligations. Her favorite class is her AP Literature class because of her teacher.

“I like his technique of teaching,” Chensam said. “I like that he’s just very blunt … and he’s very interactive with the class.”