Freshman Sensation Chases Stars

Running with Gioia

Peyton Hijar, Staff Writer

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For CHS freshman Gioia Ternasky, running is almost second nature. To the surprise of many, she has quickly raced to the top of her division. Despite being her first year running cross country, Gioia has proved that she has what is takes to win. After placing in the top five of her first few races, she has quickly become one of the fastest runners on the Clairmont Cross Country team. Her speed impresses many, but the best part is that she is only beginning her high school career.

Ternasky first started running in seventh grade after a friend convinced her to start a track club. Before running this school year, she had only been on one other team. “I’ve been on the San Diego City Track Club which was ran out of Saint Augustine High School,” she explains.

It’s hard to imagine a middle schooler that enjoyed running, but she did. “I just think it’s fun to compete,” she explains. The distance she runs depends on her skill, cardio, and speed. “I’m better at long distance, but I like middle distance the best because long distance can get tiring really fast.” She also explained why she liked running with other people:  “They can push you to go faster and you can make new relationships,” she said. 

Ternasky is looking forward to rest of her high school running career. She hopes to get her 5k time down to around 20 minutes flat, and wants to make state finals by the end of her high school career.

Her coach, Nicolas Pradel, has big expectations from her too. “To say she may rewrite the record books for Clairmont High would not do her running ability justice,” said Pradel. “A team needs an example, a standard, a leader to follow. Gioia will surely taste success again, but it is much sweeter with a team,” he added.

Her favorite race so far has been the Woodbridge Invitational, held in Riverside, California in September of 2017. “The conditions were really good, the race was just fast in general, and it wasn’t as tiring as some of the races at Morley field.” She explained. Ternasky  got second place in this race with a time of 19 minutes and 19 seconds.

Ternasky is looking forward to running during and after high school. With track season in the spring, she has a lot of hard work ahead of her, but now, she is working hard to improve every day.  

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