Hard work is ‘infectious’

Published 7:13pm Saturday, April 6, 2013

Snipes’ success helps motivate team

Even though it has been cold and junior Gabrielle Snipes has wisely refrained from going all-out in her King’s Fork High School outdoor track and field events, first place has still belonged to her. Three wins at a recent district meet earned her a nomination for the Suffolk News-Herald‘s Player of the Week poll, which she won handily this week.

In the 100-meter dash, Snipes had a winning time of 12.63 seconds. She leapt a winning distance of 17’0” in the long jump, and she also ran a strong leg for the 4×100-meter relay team, which won with a 47.50 time. The 4×100 time was actually below the team’s own seed time of 50.19.

Gabrielle Snipes, a junior at King’s Fork High School, competes in the long jump event at the Atlantic Coast “Spring Break” High School Invitational on Friday. Snipes won this event at the latest district meet on March 27 with a leap of 17’0”, contributing to her nomination for the Player of the Week poll, which she won with 104 votes.
Gabrielle Snipes, a junior at King’s Fork High School, competes in the long jump event at the Atlantic Coast “Spring Break” High School Invitational on Friday. Snipes won this event at the latest district meet on March 27 with a leap of 17’0”, contributing to her nomination for the Player of the Week poll, which she won with 104 votes.

Though it was an early season meet, Snipes could not help but be encouraged.

“I felt that it was pretty good,” she said. “It was cold, so I didn’t go 100 percent, but that meet, I was really just working on my form, (making) sure I was good so I could go fast.”

Snipes ended last season with better marks, but with a year of training since then, she expects to improve upon them. The reality of the sport is that she and most athletes do not know exactly what they will be capable of on any particular day. They just have to follow their training and check the results.

King’s Fork head coach Kisha Ricks described Snipes as a leader on the team, and coach Marvin Ricks praised her for her the hard work he said has become infectious and inspired Snipes’ teammates.

It was an infectious performance that helped bring Snipes into the sport at the age of 7. Her older brother, Taylor, competed at the encouragement of their father, Paul Snipes, and Gabrielle remembers watching him.

“So I just wanted to do it after that, after I’d seen my brother do it,” Snipes said.

Taylor, who competed with the Suffolk Stars Track Club, as well as King’s Fork, expressed congratulations to Gabrielle and said he respects her ability.

“We used to always race when we were younger, and I would always beat her, but as of right now, I probably won’t even challenge her, because I’m not trying to lose to the little sister,” he said with a laugh.

Gabrielle played basketball alongside track up until high school. Now, she focuses on track year-around as a member of the Five Star Track Program. College is already dominating her mind, because she knows coaches could be present at any given meet.

“So, it’s like, as soon as the weather warms up, I will run my race as if it’s a top college there, looking at me,” she said.

She is working hard to get her 200-meter time down to grab the attention of college coaches. But Snipes is also motivated to do her best by her family and teammates, “because a lot of people expect a lot from me, and so it’s like I just go out there, of course, to run for myself, but to show other people how much I’ve built. So, that kind of motivates me to see other people be proud of my performances.”

Player of the Week Nominees

Following are this week’s Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week nominees:

  • Jasmine Holloman, sophomore for King’s Fork High School softball — She blazed the offensive trail for the Lady Bulldogs on Thursday, going 2-for-2 with an RBI, two runs and two walks in a morning game against Camden County High School. Then, she scorched Lake Taylor High School in the afternoon, going 3-for-4, with a double, two RBIs and one run.
  • Reece Walton, junior for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy baseball — He earned the win from the mound against Norview High School and also contributed two hits on offense in a 15-8 win that capped off a 2-0 week and brought the Saints’ record (3-3) back to .500.
  • Ethan Woodruff, sophomore for Nansemond River High School baseball — He played dual pivotal roles in helping the Warriors recover from an 11-2 deficit against York High School. His pitching in the middle innings earned him the win on the mound, and his batting (2-for-2) helped his team come-from-behind and win 13-12.

Vote by 7 p.m. Wednesday by sending an email with the subject “Player of the Week” to sports@suffolknewsherald.com. You can also vote on our Facebook page and on the Suffolk News-Herald homepage.

Next Sunday, we’ll feature the readers’ choice in a story on the sports page.

Spread the word.

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