December Athletes of the Month

Walt Whitman Principal Kathie Acker congratulates her track stars, Gabrielle Ramirez and Shamar Powell.
Walt Whitman Principal Kathie Acker congratulates her track stars, Gabrielle Ramirez and Shamar Powell.

Our December Athletes of the Month are both outstanding academic students who would like to continue their love for track at colleges that will lead them both to careers in medicine.  While these students run for different reasons, both agree that their experiences at Whitman have been enhanced by the diversity and friendliness of the students and staff.

Gabrielle Ramirez runs from the soccer turf, right to the indoor track where the speedster just broke the Walt Whitman school record in the 600-meter with a blistering 1:49. “It’s a good distance for me,” said Gabrielle. “I’m not much for long distance and I’m not an all-out sprinter,” said the Whitman junior who also runs on the 4x4 team. “I really like track because if you work really hard and do well at a meet, it’s all you, and if you don’t, you have no one to blame but yourself.”  As a junior, Gabrielle is looking at where she will take her next step after high school. “I would like become a Pediatrician, so I'm looking at schools that will help make that dream come true.”

Shamar Powell takes it all in stride running in the 400- 600-, 800-, and 1000-meter as well as the Mile. At one point over the past month, Shamar led the state in the Mile, and is currently standing somewhere in the top 5 runners in the state for that distance. Shamar ran a speedy 4:21 in the Mile (1600 meter) at the recent Stanner Games at the Manhattan Armory. “I really like running at the Armory, the track is banked and there’s always a lot of excitement in the crowd,” said Shamar.  He went on to come very close to breaking two more school records in the 600-meter, with a respectable 1:26, and the 1000-meter, in a tidy 2:32. Shamar is waiting to hear back from some of the colleges he’s applied to. It’s a big decision for this Whitman senior who would like to become a Neurologist.

We congratulate these talented athletes and their coaches and thank the dedicated parents who have supported their efforts.