Wildcat Voices: Alessandra Gavris ’25 Breaking Records for Weston Track
As many Westonians know, our athletic programs at the high school are hard to beat–in spite of our small school size, we are not necessarily underdogs. This year, the Outdoor Track team, especially the Girls squad, has been outstanding–with wins at the Division 5 Dual County League Meet (boys and girls) and individul records being broken. A few days ago, you may have read about Field Kasrel ’22 in these “pages.”
One of the record breakers is Alessandra Gavris, a freshman — and she’s just starting. Well, not really. I first met Alessandra when her twin brother and one of the owlets played futsal in the indoor facility at Cambridge School of Weston, and Alessandra ran laps and laps and laps around the indoor track above the hardwood. That must have been four or five years ago now. And she hasn’t stopped, except for a few minutes to answer some questions.
Alessandra now owns the Weston freshman record in both the 1 mile and 2 mile. At the first half of the Divison 5 State Championships on Thursday here in Weston, she won the 2-mile (11:28.51) just in front of teammate Olivia Jackson (11:34.73). Smoking. You can read a great story on the meet in the Boston Herald here. A quick review of all of the entries for today’s continuation of the state divisional championships shows that she has the fastest Massachusetts freshman time in the 1 mile.
“Alessandra has remarkable poise for a freshman. She is able to remain clear-headed under the stress of a race and carry out her race plan in the heat of competition, a very difficult thing to do,” said Coach Monz. “She is very determined and that determination always shows over the last part of any race. She always carefully prepares for competition. In short, she takes a very mature approach to her racing.”
You can catch Alessandra (and all the boys and girls track team) in action today in Weston–the State Championshp competition continues at 2:30 pm, and the Girls 1-mile starts at 4:40 pm. Go ‘cats!
The Owl caught up with Alessandra by email.
Owl: When and why did you start running as a sport?
Alesssandra: I’ve been running since I was about 7 years old. Since I can remember, my dad would go on runs and I always wanted to go with him but I was too young to run 3 miles. When I was old enough to go, I loved it! It was difficult at first and I would have to stop many times but the more I ran the easier it became. When I was finally able to do the whole route, I was super happy. I still love running with him to this day.
Owl: What do you like most about cross country and track?
Alessandra: My favorite thing about cross country and track is the team aspect. I realized a few weeks ago at one of the state meets that the reason why the sport is so amazing is the unconditional support you have for your teammates. In order to win a meet, everyone’s placing matters so when your teammates are running, everyone is screaming for them until they cross the finish line. It’s amazing and the team is so awesome.
Owl: You just broke the freshman girls 1-mile and 2-mile records. To what do you credit your success?
Alessandra: I credit my success to my coaches and my teammates. At practice, Monz always pushes us and sets goals for us but his support and confidence in us makes the goals feel in reach. Of course it’s hard at times, but we are taught at practice that hard work pays off. My teammates are amazing too. I’ve made some of my best friends with this sport and it’s so great to be able to spend 2+ hours with them every day.
Owl: Who is/are your role model(s)?
Alessandra: My role models are my Mom and Dad. They give me constant guidance and I carry all the morals they teach me into my every day. Also, they come to nearly all my track meets and it means the world to me. My running role model is probably Abbey Cooper (D’agostino) because I really like her mentality when it comes to racing and the sport of running in general. From looking at interviews, she approaches running with such gratitude rather than a getting caught up in times and competition.
Owl: You and your teammate Julie Hohenberg are the top seeds for the 1-mile race. How do you deal with the pressure?
Alessandra: My teammate Julie and I are #1 and #2 and I’m the #1 freshman seed. It makes me nervous and sometime I get in my head but being able to race with her and have her next to me on the starting line makes everything a little easier. When I get too nervous, I try to take a step back and tell myself it’ll be okay and that I’ve worked hard for this.
Owl: What are your favorite things to do when you are not running?
Alessandra: When I’m not running, I love playing guitar and drums in band, spending time outside, watching movies, and doing some sort of art project. Music/ art helps me relax and I’ve been playing drums for many years now.
As everyone can tell, I have a soft spot for high schoolers and for Weston and for runners more than anything. I was one, still am one, though my successes are not the level of these amazing folks. I will say, however, that the running teams (track and cross country) are the most supportive I’ve ever been involved in–before the Red Tide comes and slaps me with a watery mitt, I will say I was never a swimmer so you got me there. Or let’s rumble. You choose.
Weston Outdoor Track competes in the Division 5 State Championships TODAY May 30 starting at 2:30 pm. The schedule is here. See you at Proctor Field!