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Amanda Chambers

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Amanda Chambers

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2023
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Written by Ken Schott, The Daily Gazette

The best word to describe Amanda Chambers, a member of the UAlbany cross country and track & field teams, is perseverance.

Between injuries, illness and the COVID-19 pandemic, Chambers’ college career has been stop and go. But this past season was the first time Chambers felt healthy.

There were times when Chambers, a 2017 Colonie High School graduate, felt frustrated by all of the off-course issues. But Chambers kept working hard to get back on track, and she persevered.

That is one of the reasons Chambers, a graduate student, is one of three collegiate recipients of the Capital District Sports Woman of the Year Award.

“I would say perseverance is probably a pretty good word to use,” Chambers said. “I mean, I always knew what I was capable of. I was inspired by other athletes that you know, because I’ve been in the athletic community a while.

“Some previous teammates of mine, I’ve watched endure some hardships, and it inspired me when I was going through those hard times to not give up and I persevered through learning what they went through.”

Chambers’ injury woes began during her senior year at Colonie. She lost her track season that year with an injury that took a while to figure out what it was. She ended up having ankle surgery to reattach a tendon. That was an 18-month recovery.

“We didn’t know what it was,” Chambers said. “I went through several months of being misdiagnosed, and not being able to be diagnosed by doctors. I ended up getting diagnosed with my peroneal tendon on my right ankle was torn off the bone, and that was from me rolling my ankle so much during cross country because of the uneven grounds.”

She started competing for UAlbany in the 2019 cross country season. And then in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and it canceled the spring track season and moved the cross country season from the fall of 2020 to the spring of 2021.

Things didn’t get much better in 2022 for Chambers. She was diagnosed with a severe iron deficiency. She was treated with infusions for four weeks.

It was a frustrating time for Chambers.

“I was so close to being done,” Chambers said. “I was like, I’m getting no reward on this and I put so much work in. But something inside of me kept telling me to not give up. And I’m glad I didn’t.”

Chambers set personal best in track this past season. She was the UAlbany Women’s Breakthrough Athlete Award winner. Chambers earned America East Outdoor All-Conference in the 5,000 meters.

Off the track, Chambers is a four-year member of UAlbany’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee [SAAC], a volunteer for Mental Health Games for the athletic community, the event coordinator for Friends of Jaclyn, a volunteer with Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club, was a food bank volunteer in high school, had an internship with special education students and was part of the holiday card program at St. Peter’s Nursing Home during COVID.

“[Community service] very important,” Chambers said. “My main source has been SAAC. i really love it because they really focus on a lot of the mental health aspects that I think are really important, especially in the athletic community.”

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