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Skating to success

Senior turned early rejection in basketball into lifelong passion for ice hockey

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Skating to success

Junior Sharks Assistant Captain Terynn McNairnie focuses before a game in January.

Junior Sharks Assistant Captain Terynn McNairnie focuses before a game in January.

Junior Sharks Assistant Captain Terynn McNairnie focuses before a game in January.

Junior Sharks Assistant Captain Terynn McNairnie focuses before a game in January.

Rosalie Gonzalez, Production Manager

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Senior Terynn McNairnie turned a rejection from seventh grade into motivation that fuels her to this day.

She thought that after helping her older brother play in the challenger league, she had a shot for the girls basketball team. She never made it past tryouts. Unable to make the cut for basketball, a family friend later suggested that she try out for ice hockey. While many began the sport closer to the ages of six or seven, McNairnie started at age 12, which would put her at a disadvantage. Instead, she was a natural.
“I picked it up so well that one of the coaches eventually would take me to the side and help me work on skating backwards,” McNairnie said.

She eventually joined a summer league to begin further developing her skills. McNairnie also played for the Bantam, Black and Ranger Blue teams.
The journey did not come without setbacks. While hockey is considered a co-ed sport, McNairnie said that most teams are male-dominated.
“If you’re lucky, you’ll get three other girls on your team,” she explained. “A lot of guys would tell me it’s not a sport for me. Even parents would say ‘make sure you wear your mouthguard and face guard because you’re too pretty to be playing.’”
She said that she never let comments like that keep her from enjoying the sport. after finding her place on a the Junior Sharks team as an assistant captain.
While she pushed herself to be the best she could be, McNairnie suffered a stress fracture about halfway through this season. She has still attended every game and practice while in recovery, dedication not gone unnoticed by teammates.

“With her injury she hasn’t been able to do as much and I know she misses being able to play,” says senior Tanner Tibbils. “But she still goes the extra mile. She’s a leader. She still works out when she can. She still attends every game. She’s so determined.”
McNairnie has slowly been getting back into exercising and practicing while updating her future college coaches on her recovery process. “For me, there’s one thing I can guarantee and it’s that at the end of the day, no one is going to work harder than me.”

While attending Grand Canyon University, she hopes to play all four years while gaining a degree for physical therapy. McNairnie is also interested in making tryouts for the National Women’s League after college.

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Skating to success