Gabby Isabelle at the net in a Winnisquam Regional High School volleyball match. (Karen Bobotas/file photo)
Gabrielle Isabelle is three-sport athlete ready to compete in volleyball and track & field
By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
TILTON — Winnisquam Regional High School sophomore Gabrielle Isabelle has already done something few female athletes have ever done.
A standout in track-and-field, as well as volleyball, she’s also a member of the high school wrestling team and last year recorded her first-ever “pin” of a male wrestler in a high school meet.
“I’ve pinned female wrestlers before but that was the first time I’d done it to a boy,” said Isabelle, who wrestles in the 132-pound class.
Her next goal is to compete in both track-and-field and volleyball in Australia.
She says wrestling has been good for her development of athletic skills and lower body strength and that mastery of technique is the key to her success.
“I’ve gotten lighter but stronger. I struggled at first until I got to understand the techniques which can help you win,” says Isabelle.
As a freshman, she was presented with the Coaches Award for wrestling, and as a sophomore, she emerged as one of the key players on her school’s volleyball team that finished with an 18-1 record and won the Division III title.
She’s currently recovering from a hand injury she received while wrestling that required surgery. She is looking forward to track-and-field in the spring, where she’s setting her sights on trying to break the girls’ Winnisquam shot put record of 36.2 feet. She’s already topped the 30-foot mark and thinks she can set the new record by the time she graduates.
She’s also working with her parents and friends to help raise money for a 20-day trip to Australia in July, where she will represent New Hampshire in the Down Under Sports Tournament in both track-and-field and volleyball. The tournament will bring together 16 teams of eight players each in the volleyball segment and about 350 track-and-field athletes.
The cost is about $7,500, according to her parents, Jeff and Tara Isabelle.
To meet that expense, the first in a series of fundraisers will take place Thursday, March 5, at the Winni Grill on Route 3 in Tilton. It will feature a comedy night with well-known comedian Bucky Lewis, whose roots are in the Lakes Region. Admission is $20 for the show, which is geared to adults, and doors open at 7 p.m., with the show getting underway at 8 p.m.
She also has a Facebook page where Go Gabby fans can show their support.
Her parents marvel at her resilience in bouncing back from a number of injuries, going back to the eighth grade, when she broke both ankles in a fall from a tree. She’s had trouble with pain in her legs since then and, last March, while playing in a non-school volleyball tournament (she plays the sport year-round), she suffered a concussion when she got tangled with another player while diving for the ball and hit her head on the floor, knocking her out briefly.
She’s recovered nicely, however, and says that her experience with so many injuries and the physical therapies she’s undergone have given her a good idea of what she wants to do in the future.
“I’d like to be a sports trainer. I really liked the people who worked with me and can see myself doing that,” says Isabelle.
Her goal, once she graduates from high school, is to attend Ohio State University, which offers a wide variety of athletic degree programs and opportunities
for student athletes.
Athletic skills are part of her family’s history. Her father, Jeff, played soccer and was on the track-and-field team at Manchester Memorial High School, while her mother, Tara, played softball and was a cheerleader at Trinity High School in Manchester.
They moved with their family from Candia to the Lakes Region 10 years ago and they own Giguere’s Auto on Route 3.
Her mother is already planning to take the trip to Australia in July and be part of a large contingent, including Gabby’s niece, aunt and grandmother, who will be cheering for her daughter.
“She’s a hard worker and very determined. It’s going to be lots of fun for all of us to watch her compete in Australia,” says her mother.
Gabby Isabelle is a member of the Winnisquam Regional High School wrestling team. (Courtesy photo)
Gabby Isabelle tosses the shot put in a track-and-field meet last season. (Courtesy photo)
- Category: Local Sports
- Hits: 450