January Athletes of the Month

Whitman Principal Ms. Kathie Acker, and South Huntington Athletic Director Dr. Jim Wright congratulate their two Athletes of the Month for January.
Whitman Principal Ms. Kathie Acker, and South Huntington Athletic Director Dr. Jim Wright congratulate their two Athletes of the Month for January.

 

Our female January Athlete of the Month is getting accustomed to breaking her own records. But breaking the 5-minute mark in the 1500 meter was a goal Lauren Hoffman was determined to accomplish for the past couple of years. She achieved that goal this past season at the New York State Winter Track Qualifier. This was a tremendous feat considering it was done on a flat cement surface and not the usual mondo surface or banked track that most runners prefer. “I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am now,” said Lauren, who pushes herself by regularly working out with the Boys track team.

Now that the snow is slowly melting off Whitman’s outdoor track, Lauren will be continuing her love of running in the spring track season. “I really love Steeplechase, because it’s unique and demanding,” said Lauren.  “Between running and jumping over water hazards you have to have a different kind of endurance.” 

Lauren is a senior this year, and while she has not made a decision as to where she will attend college in the fall, there is one decision she is sure of, and this is to keep running.  Congratulations Lauren Hoffman!

 

Dedication and discipline are hallmarks of successful wrestlers, so it comes as no surprise that our male January Athlete of the Month possesses those and many other characteristics that distinguish this young man. Hekmat Naeemi has been wrestling since the 7th grade. “Grinding out each day of practice to make weight was always really tough,” said Hekmat. “But when you’re out there on the mat, its mano y mano, and when they raise your hand in victory, it’s a great feeling.”

On January 3rd in a meet against Connetquot, Hekmat qualified for entry into an exclusive club. The Century Club has always been reserved for those wrestlers whose dedication and discipline earned them entry into this prestigious 100-win group. “I didn’t even realize I had gotten my 100th win until the next day when coach [Vin Altebrando] told me I got it,” said Hekmat. “I enjoyed wrestling more this year than any other year, because I only had to lose 6 pounds to make weight.”

Like his counterpart for our January Athletes of the Month, Hekmat will be heading off to college next fall, and while he is unsure where, he does know that he would like to continue to wrestle. Congratulations Hekmat Naeemi!