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Gianna Salerno: a change of heart

Photo Credit: Kaite Wilson

Growing up, sophomore field hockey forward Gianna Salerno was a jack of all trades. While many athletes pick up their sport during elementary school, Salerno picked up her sport in high school.

Over the years, Salerno played softball, lacrosse, soccer and hockey. It was not until her freshman year of high school that she picked up field hockey. Her school needed players, so she figured she would try it out. Up until that point, her main sport had been softball. She had been playing since she was 4-years-old, but she fell out of love with the sport after hurting her shoulder.

“I tore my shoulder right before I went into high school,” Salerno said. “So, then I didn’t play [softball] my freshman or sophomore year. Junior year, I didn’t play either. Senior year, I thought I should play for fun. I was still starting but I like field hockey better. I like running. I like being active.”

If she’s not in the gym lifting or hanging out with her friends, Salerno is running. Her coach provides workout packets, but she also focuses on her own conditioning outside of it.

“I just like running on my own because it helps me work on my endurance,” Salerno said. “In the summer, before preseason, our coach gives us a training package. We have to follow it. It includes lifting, long runs, sprints, drills and high intensity workouts.”

While being on the team, she accredits some of her best memories to how the team prepares for games. Salerno highly values her pregame superstition of drinking an energy drink before she takes the field. Along with that, the team will blast music to get pumped up for the match.

Although she is often found on the field, Salerno finds peace when she puts on her skates. Ice hockey has been in her life for as long as she can remember. For the past two years, she has been a member of the club hockey team.

Salerno may not be able to be an athlete forever, but she hopes to remain involved. She enjoys working with children, so she picked Physical Education to to be her academic focus. She hopes to teach at an elementary school and coach at the high school level.

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