Gina Lupica - Villa Joseph Marie
What was your most memorable race/competition?
My most memorable race was at the New Balance Indoor Nationals this year when I was the first leg of the 4x200. I actually could hear the announcer telling the crowd that I was moving "very very quickly"! I also got to hand off to my younger sister, and I could hear my family cheering for me in the crowds. We ended up medaling which was incredible. I love looking back at that video; every one of us ran very well. That was the longest meet of my life (I was there for over 13 hours) so my coaches, team and I made the best of it and had a lot of fun.
Where did you face your biggest competition?
Running for a AA school, the indoor season always has major competition compared to the outdoor season because we're running with the AAA girls as well. I took every indoor meet very seriously, because I absolutely had to if I wanted to do well.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
I'm most proud of my 60m hurdle third place indoor state medal because I ran a PR that I had never dreamed of reaching. I was up against the best runners in the state and it felt amazing to do as well as I did. I am also extremely proud of my school and meet records.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
I would have started earlier! It was the right timing for me to start my junior year--but I wish it would have worked out so that I could have had two more years of running. I would have liked to see what I could have done. My whole junior year I was still getting comfortable with the hurdles; it would've been nice to have gotten the technicalities out of the way my freshman year.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Literally, the 300m hurdles. That race is absolute torture. The only reason I endured it was because if I didn't, I would have been running the 400.
What will you miss the most?
My team of course! I was very fortunate to have such an amazing group of people to run with. We definitely knew how to have fun. Running-wise, I have to go with the relays. There's no better feeling than doing your part in a successful relay and hearing the crowd screaming. It's such an adrenaline rush.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Get all the help you can! Running is a lot more technical than people think, and if you start early and practice a lot it can make a huge difference. My dad would stand in the kitchen with me and make me lean over a pretend finish line, make me hurdle chairs, or even do starts in the living room...it's weird but it worked!
How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?
My coaches always had so much faith in me. They gave me the confidence to begin running, and to continue to work hard to do better every time. Their positivity and dedication to the team is incredible. I was so lucky to have them.
What are your college plans?
I'm quitting while I'm ahead-- no college track for me. I'll be attending Northwestern University this fall, and they don't even have a track team! I miss it already though; I'll be looking at some open meets just for fun.
Jane -- my younger sister, for pushing me and for being an amazing athlete despite injuries and the fact that she's only a sophomore!
My brother Christian -- sprinter/hurdler at Bucknell University; thanks for getting the whole family into track and for teaching me from the very beginning!
My Dad -- for being my first coach and for being my biggest support system.
My Mom-- for filming every race and going to every possible meet, and being my biggest fan :)
Katie Cassidy -- for being such an impressive athlete and for pushing me to my limits on the track; good luck next year!
All the Swenson Girls -- Thanks for giving our sprinters something to reach for!! ;)
And my relay runners: Leah Patrick, Tori Nawalinski, Jane Lupica, and Gabby Falcon! I love you guys so much. Thanks for four amazing seasons.
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