Athletes Achieve National Rankings
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National rankings are not awarded to typical athletes. Whether rankings are based off how well your team does, how much you contribute or if you are solely ranked in order of time, nationally ranked athletes have devoted their life to their sport and their hard work pays off. At the high school we have multiple nationally ranked athletes who dominate in track, soccer, squash and golf.
While national rankings are very rewarding to the athletes who have devoted everything to their sport, they come with a lot of pressure to constantly be the best.
“The pressure with the rankings is that everybody expects you to always run those times and be on top of everyone.” Sophomore Lucas Aramburu said.
Aramburu, who was ranked fifth in the country for the freshman mile (4:22.37) last year said he doesn’t enjoy discussing rankings and times with his teammates. Rather, he lets his track and cross country coach at the high school, Michael Glennon, tell him where his times stand.
“Glennon knows his stuff. He knows where I’m supposed to be, and he knows I have to work hard to stay at that level,” Aramburu said.
Sophomore David Rubin knows that he has to train hard to maintain his ranking in squash tournaments, but similarly to Aramburu, he does not enjoy discussing with or competing against his friends.
“Playing matches against my close friends is hard. I hate doing that. It’s super intense, and playing against your friends or someone you like is hard,” Rubin said.
Working hard to stay at that top level comes with a lot of benefits. Being nationally ranked allows athletes to get noticed by colleges and provides them with an opportunity to compete in the sport they love at a school that recruits them. However, the recruitment process can come with a lot of pressure as well.
Junior Ohad Yahalom, who plays for the New England Revolution, is ranked 58th out of 150 soccer players in the country planning on graduating in 2018 according to collegesoccernews.com, a website used to recruit high school soccer players.
“Once you start junior year, for soccer, colleges are allowed to contact you, so on Sept. 1 of junior year, it was really stressful because every hour there was another school calling,” Yahalom said. “It was very humbling. It’s stressful, but you have to deal with it.”
Similarly, Aramburu believes running will be a sure way to allow him to go to a wide selection of schools.
“Running is my ticket to college. Running is how I’m planning on getting in,” Aramburu said.
But before he goes to college, Aramburu has big goals for his high school career.
“I want to win All-States someday. In the mile would be nice. Cross country All-States would be nice too,” Aramburu said. “But also, I’m just a sophomore, I have plenty of time to win state, regional and maybe even national competitions if I can.”
Yahalom’s goals are directed more towards getting into the best possible college that offers him the best team.
“I would love to play in college for a really good college team. And hopefully if that goes well maybe go to the next level,” Yahalom said.
Rubin also plans on playing squash in college and hopes to play professionally one day.
Although Aramburu, Yahalom and Rubin have similar goals with their running, soccer and squash careers, they all had drastically different introductions to their sport.
“I’ve been playing soccer for 11 years now. I grew up in Israel. Everyone over there plays soccer, it’s basically our culture. I was drawn into it very early,” Yahalom said.
Aramburu also played soccer.
“I’ve been running for two years. I was 13 years old and I played soccer, and I was a goalie,” Aramburu said. “And then I joined the track club when I was 13.”
Rubin also coincidentally had his start in soccer.
“I played soccer, but I got injured a lot, so I quit,” Rubin said.
While national rankings within themselves can hold a lot of esteem, Aramburu warns to not take them too seriously.
“The thing about national rankings in running, they’re all cool and everything but, there’s always some people who don’t show up or the lists are inaccurate. So really when they come out and say third in the country, second in the country for freshmen it’s not true. Freshmen year there’s still a lot of kids who are developing or are running unattached,” Aramburu said. “It looks good and it feels good, but it’s not necessarily 100 percent accurate.”