Unconventional athletes at WHS


Credit: Talia Camiel

Sophomore Talia Camiel at a cheerleading competition with her teammates.

Hailey Robinson and Caitlin Newton

Although WHS offers almost 20 sports through the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, some students choose to participate in athletic programs and sports that are not offered at WHS.

Sophomore Talia Camiel does Rocket Cheer, a cheerleading team that competes at a national level.

“When I was four I did gymnastics at [Planet Gymnastics],” Camiel said. “My gymnastics teacher was the coach of the cheer team, so she pulled me into it.”

Sophomore Jason Haims also competes in CrossFit at a national level in a winter competition called “The Open.” Last, winter, Haims placed second in the state and fourth in the northeast region for the 14 to 15 year old division.

“Every week they post a workout, and you have the whole week to complete the workout at your own gym, [and you’ll] be judged by a professional judge at your gym, or the owner of your gym will submit it online,” Haims said. “Then, you’re ranked throughout your state and region.”

According to Haims, CrossFit incorporates different types of workouts all in one.

“[CrossFit] takes cardio, gymnastics, powerlifting, Olympic lifting and all different kinds of fitness into [one] program,” Haims said.

Some students continue to participate in sports outside of their normal competitive seasons. In addition to competing in tournaments through the USTA, junior Emma Levy plays tennis at Pinebrook Country Club and Longfellow Tennis and Health Club.

“It helps me make sure I keep my skills intact all year long and not just during tennis season,” Levy said. “It helps me improve throughout the year so that every season I can be better than the last.”

Young athletes who wish to pursue their sport at a high level have to commit long periods of time in order to participate. Junior horseback rider Isabel Mishara travels all over the country for competitions.

“Usually, I compete in the summer,” Mishara said. “[Competitions are] usually a week long in Vermont or New York.”

With any competitive sport comes commitment and sacrifice. Athletes must balance their commitments with schoolwork, and participating in a sport that is uninvolved with the school requires extra planning to fit it all in.

“I usually have to be there for two to three hours every day, so it sometimes affects me being able to do work,” Mishara said.

Another benefit of competing outside of school is the opportunity to get to know athletes from other places. Camiel is very close with her teammates, most of which aren’t from Wayland.

“[Cheer is] really different because not everyone’s from Wayland, so I meet a lot of people from other towns, which is nice,” Camiel said.