Winnetka, Sports

Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Gaby Manzano, New Trier track and field

Gaby Manzano is an All-State jumper for the Trevians. She recently won three events (long jump, triple jump, 400-meter run) at the conference meet and is competing at the University of Connecticut next year.

1. Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?

I usually like to stay in my own space. I don’t usually talk to my teammates or friends. I’m just visualizing my jump and I always like to get three run-throughs in (before I jump). Also, I only do one warmup lap around the track. I feel like I’m going to lose all my energy if I do two.

2. What excites you most about UConn?

The competition. There are a lot of really good incoming freshmen that I’m really excited to train with. Everyone was so nice there, and I love the campus. Of all the visits I went on, UConn was the nicest by far. 

3. How did you realize you were a good jumper?

I think it was freshman year. I was jumping in 9 (meters) all season and then coach decided to put me in for the sectional. … I went 10.55 as a freshman and it was pure shock — like what just happened. I realized it was something I could maybe make something out of. 

4. If you could play another sport, what would it be?

I think probably soccer. I did it in middle school and loved it. We are from Spain, so we’re really big soccer fans. My dad played throughout his life. I remember in middle school going outside and training every day. It was so much fun.

5. What is your favorite thing to do off the track? 

I would say probably traveling. I travel a lot to Spain. I also used to play cello. I stopped this year to focus on track but still play every now and then. I also like to hang out with friends and spend time with family. 

6. What is your dream job? 

I will be majoring in exercise science and want to be a sports doctor. If that doesn’t work out, I would want to be a coach.

7. If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be?

Probably Usain Bolt (Jamaican sprinter), just to get insight on the mental stuff. Maybe he’d have some good tips to share. He’s probably had a really interesting life, too, and I’d like to hear about that.

8. If you are in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying? 

Gum. I love gum. The spearmint Extra gum. 

9. What is something people don’t know about you?

I lived in Spain for eight years. I was born there. When I turned 9, we moved here. I didn’t have any idea what track and field was until freshman year. It’s like I had two childhoods — in Spain and then half my life I grew up here.

10. What do you hope to accomplish this postseason?

My biggest hope and dream is I really, really wanna win state in the long jump. That would be the biggest thing. And then trying to get a high place in the (4-by-400) and hopefully place high in triple jump and we”ll see what happens in the open 400.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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