May 14, 2020
By Rafaella Paes
The Lighthouse’s Athlete of the Month is junior Gia Estrella. She is a varsity long and triple jumper as well as sprinter for the outdoor track and field team. Estrella has been running track for three years and has been on varsity since her freshman year.
“I knew that I wanted to run track in high school because I’ve always loved running. Soccer gave me a lot of experience and definitely helped me to grow a love for being active 24/7,” Estrella said.
She has been a member of the varsity soccer and indoor track teams since her freshman year. Estrella has consistently proven that she is an all-around athlete who can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.
“Being a part of a team that has so many wins under our belt is awesome. We all feel like we are making history for Lyndhurst.”
As one of the major leaders on the outdoor track and field team, Estrella has played a significant role in her team’s six league championship wins by excelling in all of her events.
PHOTO FROM LORS PHOTOGRAPHY
Junior Gia Estrella competes at a home meet against Leonia High School on April 15, 2019.
“Being a part of a team that has so many wins under our belt is awesome. We all feel like we are making history for Lyndhurst,” Estrella said.
She said she is planning on playing a sport in college, but she is worried that the COVID-19 pandemic will affect recruitment.
VIDEO INTERVIEW BY DESIREE ESTRELLA
“It sucks that we don’t have a junior season. College scouts for track are known to watch for upcoming runners their junior year of high school, so it just feels as though we have been ripped off,” Estrella said.
During the 2019 season, Estrella participated in two relays that broke school records. In both the spring medley and 4×400 relays, she helped crush the girls’ school records that had existed for years.
VIDEO RECORDING BY COACH HYKEY (May 10, 2019, Gene Littler Bergen County Championships at Northern Valley Old Tappan High School)
Estrella placed second overall in the 4×400 relays at the Gene Littler Bergen County Championships on May 11, 2019 with a time of 4:08. The relay, which also included junior Maggie Fodera and LHS Class of 2019 graduates Susane Morozewicz and Giulia Pezzolla, also made it to Bergen County Meet of Champions on May 17, 2019. To qualify for this meet, athletes must place in the top three at counties, so it is a huge accomplishment to have been invited to such a prestigious meet.
Estrella and the relay team placed sixth in the Meet of Champions with a time of 4:07 seconds, beating the girls’ school record. Estrella said she knew the relay would go well because of how well she and the girls worked together.
“It was so cool to go to an amazing meet with the people I love the most. The girls on the track team are definitely my best friends and are the reason I stay motivated,” Estrella said. “Being in such a family environment makes me feel as though I can do anything.”