Student Association's Athlete of the Week - Gabrielle Naranja
This year, the Student Association and The Athletic Department thought it would be a good idea to recognize outstanding student athletes from the campus community for their personal athletic achievements, in a new forum we're calling "Athlete of the Week." The weekly selections will come from coach and captain feedback, and every sport will have a week to nominate a student athlete for the honor. If you'd like to nominate a student-athlete, contact Brian Healey at email@example.com
Sophomore Gabrielle Naranja not only has the fastest feet on the Saint Michael's Women's Cross Country team, but also the biggest heart. Just last week, Naranja took first place at the Vermont Intercollegiate Championship race Saturday at Saint Mike's. With a time of 19:14 for the 5k course, she becomes only the second female Purple Knight ever to win the race. As her teammate and captain, I can say that I could not be happier to have Gabrielle as a part of our team.
Although Gabrielle may come off quiet at first, getting to know her has quickly proved otherwise. There is rarely a moment when she does not have a smile on her face or some words of encouragement for her teammates. Her laughter is contagious and always lifts our spirits during tough workouts and hard races. "It amazes me how positive and upbeat Gabrielle always is. Even during the toughest of workouts in the worst of conditions, she is always pushing herself the hardest and keeping her spirits up," senior teammate Milijana Lacmonovic says.
Gabrielle, once again, held true to these qualities at our race this past Saturday. With temperatures in the low 50s, high winds, and heavy rain, she ran her hardest straight to the finish line, out-sprinting Middlebury to secure her win. Even as she accepted her award, Gabrielle remained humble as always while taking in the loud applause and congratulations from her teammates. Although she is an amazing runner, Gabrielle is an amazing women and incredible teammate too. I am lucky to have been able to spend two years with her and know I can say on behalf of myself, along with rest of the team, we are extremely proud of all she has already accomplished. Her endurance and work ethic are truly inspirational and something all of us on the team admire. Our next race is the New England Championships this coming Saturday at Franklin Park in Boston, MA. We are very excited for Gabrielle and know she will do well against our NE-10 rivals. In the words of fellow teammate Andrea Park, "Go Gabs!"
Written by Elyse Desmarais-contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org