Athlete of the Week: Rowan Bienapfl


Jasmine McIntosh

Rowan Bienapfl loves going to cross country practice and enjoys every day except for the workout days.

Rita Tran, Staff Reporter

Sophomore Rowan Bienapfl has not always been fond of running cross country, but over time she has grown to love it. 

Bienapfl started running last year because of her family and friends, as they sparked her interest and motivated her to join cross country her freshman year.

Although a new runner, Bienapfl made the varsity team last year and this season.

One of the hardest things for Bienapfl is keeping a positive mindset while running. “It is really easy when you’re running to just want to stop.” She keeps herself motivated by reminding herself every time she is running, “I’ll get better if I keep on going,” she said. 

Not only does Bienapfl run cross country, but she also does dance during the fall season. Ever since she was three years old, she has been dancing. For 13 years, she has committed herself to thousands of hours of practice, training every week to ensure perfection in her choreography. Bienapfl stopped dancing outside of school after going to high school as it was just too overwhelming. She joined the La Salle dance team to continue her passion for dance even after leaving her dance studio. 

As a result of her practice and dedication, dance comes naturally to Bienapfl. She feels that she has improved greatly over the years, enjoying being able to express herself, which is part of the reason why she has loved dance for so many years.

Participating in two sports during the same months can be really challenging, but Bienapfl is trying to balance both of them. She makes sure to communicate with her coaches and tell them if she is struggling in her academic life. “I don’t have a lot of free time, and I don’t have a lot of time after school to do my homework, but I get it done.” 

In both dance and cross country, the community of people have kept her going. They help Bienapfl to enjoy her sports.

Even though there are many pros for both sports, Bienapfl says that there is always a con. “For cross country you’re just running.” Running every day, constantly, can be tiring and has burnt her out at times. With dance, she says, “there are different levels,” meaning that she has to collaborate with others of all different dance experiences and levels. Even though she is an advanced student, Bienapfl occasionally has to dance with people who have not had as much training, which causes her to feel like she is held back. 

Bienapfl plans to dance and run until she graduates. In the future, she plans on taking running past her high school years and into college if she is able to, hoping to get a scholarship for either sport if she is able. 

When she grows older, she knows that she will still carry dancing and running with her, even if it’s just for fun.