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The Student News Site of Gulliver Preparatory

The Raider Voice

The Student News Site of Gulliver Preparatory

The Raider Voice

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Alyssa Pujals: Tennis Player, Track Runner, and Charitable Student

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Junior Alyssa Pujals juggles a rigorous athletic talent as well as a bursting academic schedule. Her skills in both tennis and track has her earned national attention.

Pujals’ tennis season started with a successful 7-0 game on Feb. 4. In addition to the occasional match, Pujals practices seven days a week for an hour-and-a-half from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. She plays position 2, and last year she helped the tennis team to victory in the 2014 State Championship.

“I’ve been playing USTA tennis tournaments since I was nine. I have played national tennis tournaments in many states, such as Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Alabama, as well as tournaments in various parts of Florida. These tournaments take up almost all of your weekend, and so it’s hard to keep up with schoolwork,” Pujals said.

The track season started Feb. 16th, her schedule is jam packed. In addition to her tennis practices, she is also continuing to train for cross country. After tennis practice ends, she has cross country or track practice from 4:30 to 5 or 6 p.m. Sometimes, she is in three different seasons of sports at once, even competing in all three together in the state level. This athletic achievement is also paired with a busy schedule.

In addition to sports, Pujals is an active member in National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Cum Laude Society, and Model UN. She is also the president of the Special Olympics Project Unify Gulliver that she began this year. Through this club, students volunteer at Special Olympics events including competitions and fundraisers. She is currently helping to organize a 5K that hosted annually to raise money for the organization.

This past summer alone, Pujals completed 200 hours of community service volunteering at a Special Olympics sports camp that teaches children with disabilities to play sports and attain healthy lifestyles. She is planning to continue this community service this summer.

To keep up with her academic schedule, Pujals often finds herself completing homework coming to and from games.

“I’ve had to do my homework and projects in cars, airplanes, and hotel computers. . .  I’m accustomed to balancing my schoolwork and athletics,” Pujals said.

In her athletic history, Pujals is especially proud of her achievements in the Foot Locker South Regional Junior/ Senior Race in North Carolina this past November. She reached a personal record of 18 minutes 23 seconds in a 5K race in nearly 30 degree weather. She placed first out of 200 other runners at the national level.

Pujals plans on continuing her athletic achievements far into the future. She is planning on continuing both track and cross country in college, though tennis in college is often a year-long sport. She has already contacted coaches of colleges she is interested in and she hopes for an athletic scholarship in the future.

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