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SPORTS: Local athletes

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By Julie Einstein 

The day Lane Jarred, a gynastics star from Lawrenceville, New Jersey  signed the contract that granted her a full athletic scholarship to North Carolina State University in November of 2010 changed her life forever.

“It was scary and exciting and wonderful all at the same time” she said in an interview with The VOICE.

Jarred began training when she was four years old. “My mom took me to a [gymnastics] birthday party and I had fun so she started taking me to classes. The people that worked there suggested that I try out for the team,” said Jarred.

Three years later, after making the local Arena Gymnastics team in Hamilton, Jarred started competing in regional and national gymnastics meets.

One of Jarred’s first coaches from GymLand, Valdi Kolasa, said, “Lane showed great skills early on in her career and training. She was strong, responsible, talented, and a hard worker at a very young age.”

Jarred explained that she missed out on a lot of normal opportunities in her childhood such as birthday parties, school dances, and socializing because of gymnastics.

“I can’t even remember a time when I didn’t have practice. Sometimes I felt like I lived at the gym,” said Jarred.

The time spent working on her gymnastics paid off as she achieved USA gymnastics regulations “Level 10”, which is the highest skill level, and won the NJ State AA championship title five years in a row from 2005 to 2011.

Jarred’s strongest categories are in the beam and floor sections. She took the fifth place overall for her floor routine at Nationals in 2011 hosted by ESPN.

“When I was first starting out, I was really afraid of flipping over the beam for the first time,” said Jarred when asked about her strength in the beam category.

The recruiting procedures began during Jarred’s sophomore year at Lawrence High School, “we made a video of all my events and sent it out to like 20 schools,” Jarred said.

According to the NCAA, about 2% of high school athletes receive athletic scholarships. Jarred is included in that small percentage.

After receiving multiple offers from large, Division I colleges such as Ohio State and University of Pittsburgh, Lane ultimately decided to further her education and gymnastics career at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The 19 year old is currently finishing up her freshman year as a part of the NCState “Wolf pack” women’s gymnastics team.

As the academic year winds down, Lane says, “This year was really crazy, I met so many nice people and made a lot of friends. I worked hard in my classes and at practice, but also had a lot of fun.”

 

 

By Zac Santanello

As Olympic Rower Brett Newlin sat at the starting line in Beijing seconds before the buzzer went off, he knew the rush of competing in the Olympics would bring him back four years later.

“Everything’s quiet. Even your breathing. Your muscles are tensed in anticipation. Suddenly you’re aware of the fact that all of the years of work you put it have culminated to this one moment. You’re competing to win at the freakin’ Olympics! That was it for me. It made such an impact that I decided I was going to go for it again four years later,” said Newlin in a recent interview with The VOICE.

When first starting out on the national team, Newlin used to live and train in Princeton. While living in Princeton, Brett worked for The Princeton Running Company, because according to him, “Strangely enough rowing doesn’t pay the bills, so most of us have to get part time jobs.”

Currently, Newlin is using his degree in computer engineering at his job with Mistras Group, Inc, a technology firm located in Princeton Junction. He says he is “…fortunate enough to work remotely from the west coast, programming embedded software for their numerous electronic testing devices. So, I’m basically a huge nerd with muscles.”

Although he went home with no medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Newlin has been training in Chula Vista, California for a spot on the United States Men’s Eight Olympic Rowing team for the upcoming 2012 London Summer Olympics. With the Olympics only two months away, Newlin trains for close to 25-30 hours a week to secure a seat on the US Olympic team.

“That’s what the last four years has been leading up to for me. The team isn’t named until we get closer to the Games, so everyone has to come with their ‘A’ game to every training session,” he said.

For Newlin, this year could be his last chance at competing in the Olympics.  “If I earn myself a seat I’ll be most excited about having one last chance to reach Olympic glory. In Beijing I came up short of the podium. I just turned 30 and plan on retiring and having real life rush up to greet me after this season. I’m moving and getting married in September. This is my last shot. I’ve got to make it happen,” he said.

According to Newlin, the biggest hurdle he has had to face in his rowing career has been, resisting the urge to stop.

“When your entire body and mind is screaming at you to quit. You have to sacrifice so much to stay on course that you miss many of the moments in life that other people take for granted. I’ve missed weddings, funerals, reunions, parties; I have friends that I haven’t seen in years invite me to meet up and I just can’t make time without putting my dream at risk. That’s the hardest part. But quitting would hurt even more,” he said.

 

 

By Miranda Horn

According to E.J. Nemeth (no relation to Joe Nemeth), when an arm injury ended his baseball career before he even got to high school, a football career and dreams of the NFL took its place. Ultimately Nemeth, a 28-year-old local who had attended Notre Dame High School, went on to play for indoor football leagues rather than the NFL. Despite a variety of setbacks, Nemeth has never abandoned his dream.

Since 2007 Nemeth has played for  for numerous AIFA, IFL and SIFL teams including  the Reading Express in 2007, the San Angelo Stampede-Express and Alaska Wild in 2008, the Baltimore Mariners in 2009-10, and Utah Blaze and Trenton Steel in 2011.

Playing for The Steel last year brought Nemeth back to where he grew up. The team ended the season with a respectable eight win and five loss record that took them to the semi-finals, but the record wasn’t enough to keep them in business. It Steel down after its first season. Nemeth didn’t get slowed down.

Prior to being drafted to the Steel, Nemeth won the AIFA Championship in 2010 while on the Baltimore Mariners who went 16-0 for the season.  Nemeth won the player of the year award for the same season.

In a recent interview with The VOICE, Nemeth said, “Advancement depends largely on who you know and luckily at this point in my career I know people throughout many leagues and all over the country. I am confident in my ability to play the game and with the right opportunity I can show that.” Currently Nemeth is playing for the Philadelphia Soul and the Harrisburg Stampede.

Nemeth says he would like to advance to higher football leagues, but that he’s getting older and has begun to lose the feeling of invincibility. Fortunately, he has found coaching, particularly in our local area, provides a way for him to think about staying in the game long term.

He began coaching when he was just 22. “I had never coached before and I was afforded a rare opportunity at such a young age,” Nemeth said of his position as head football coach for Trenton Catholic Academy (TCA) in Hamilton. Nemeth has also served on the football coaching staffs of Bordentown High School and Hopewell Valley High School.

“I respected him from day one because of his work ethic. He is a legend at Notre Dame High School for what he accomplished on the field. Personally, I think he was one of the best coaches that I’ve had the privilege to play for,” says former Trenton Catholic football player, Mark Maccaroni (22) a current TCNJ student.

As Nemeth continues to strive to reach his professional goals, locals who have been following his career hope Nemeth will stay  in the area and perhaps return to coaching and inspiring yonger athletes.

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