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Westfield Athlete of the Week: Gabby Stravach

Elizabeth Fox

Thursday, May 29, 2014 • 1:57pm

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield High School senior Gabby Stravach broke a school record this week, running a mile in 5:07.86. The previous record of 5:11.4 was set by Sage Stefiuk in 1996, according to Coach Jennifer Buccino.

Stravach reflected on her final season running at WHS.

“Since it’s my senior year and last season on the high school team I wanted it to be one to remember,” she said.

Stravach pointed out that her new personal record and new school record were not easily won. Starting the season, she planned to concentrate on the mile, as she “had every intention to go for that record.”

In this weekend’s race, Stravach struggled at first, being boxed in the first two laps. However, once she overcame the traffic she preformed exceedingly well, according to Buccino.

“It was the perfect way for me to end my high school mile career and it is definitely one of my favorite races I have had in high school,” said Stravach.

Earlier this season, Stravach ran in the 4x800 relay team at the Penn Relays. Westfield had not sent a 4x800 team in several years. Despite the accomplishment of qualifying, “the race did not accurately represent our abilities which, in the moment, was devastating, but in the long run it set the stage for the goals we accomplished later in the season,” said Stravach.

She and the other team members used their loss to push harder and motivate themselves throughout the season. Another highlight of Stravach’s past season was her PR in the two-mile at counties.

“Joining the track team and being a part of the WHS track family has been the best decision I have made during my high school career,” said Stravach, who will attend Emory University next year where she will continue running.

“I am sad to leave my teammates and coaches from Westfield behind, but I am also excited to see what the future holds for me in Atlanta and I cannot wait to start my college running career,” she said.

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