Tobiasz Rising Star In Connecticut Indoor Track And Field
Joanna Tobiasz has played basketball her entire life but after a self-reflection on what she wants to accomplish and where she wants to be in the future, she made the tough decision to stop playing and instead, start participating in indoor track and field. While she has always participated in outdoor track and field in the spring, this decision meant giving up a sport she has loved her entire life.
It certainly wasn’t an easy one and it was one where she talked to numerous people for advice, including New Britain High School Athletic Director Len Corto. One of the primary reasons for switching to indoor track was because she has always been so close to reaching the New England Championship in outdoor track but always just missed. She knew that if she dedicated more time to the sport, it would translate to more success in the spring and that she would finally reach her ultimate goal of reaching the New England and National Championship meets.
Another reason for switching to indoor track is because Tobiasz is a junior and it’s time to start thinking about life after high school. That means college, scholarships and what she wants to dedicate her talents towards.
“I miss basketball. I love it and I still watch the teams here play but I know there’s not a future for me in that sport. In track, I know I can be successful and that’s what I want to do in college. It was a tough decision but Len Corto talked to me about Stephon Henry and told me how he started indoor track his junior year. Stephon had lots of success and reached nationals his first year and after building on it his senior year, he ended up getting a full ride to UConn. He’s definitely motivated me and I want to follow in his footsteps and accomplish the same thing.”
While there may have been some hesitation at first, it has turned out to be one of the best decisions that Tobiasz has made. That’s because she is a rising star in the Connecticut indoor track and field scene despite it only being her first season.
Just last weekend, she became the CCC Conference Champion in the girls Long Jump with a measurement of 16-6.25. In addition to that, she qualified for the Class LL State Championships in three other events, making her the only girl on the team to qualify in all the events she participated in.
The team, which is a mix of boys and girls, has traveled to invitational meets at Wesleyan Universty, Providence Rhode Island, and The University of Rhode Island. These meets consist of 30 – 70 schools at any given time with over 1,000 athletes competing. Tobiasz has come out on top at all of these events, bringing home medals in the Long Jump, the 300-meter run and the 55-meter dash. She is also a key component to the girls 4×200 relay team, which ran a qualifying time last weekend at the CCC Indoor Championships. Other members of the relay team are freshman, Larissa Tabb, sophomore, McKenzie Dingle, and senior, Nadia Dowu.
According to head coach Lisa Kawecki, Tobiasz is an athlete that every coach would love to have on their team.
“She is coachable, knows how to compete and doesn’t like to lose. The fact that she has talent and the inner drive to be better on top of it all is a plus. We spent a lot of time working on her technique and approach this season. Once she got the 8-count down, she hasn’t had a foul jump yet. She is putting work in in the weight room and her added strength has given her more confidence in her ability. We look forward to see her finish this season on top and continue to build for her outdoor season.”
Tobiasz is seen as one of the leaders and the team and there’s no doubt that she has had plenty of influence throughout the roster. Other athletes such as Marcris Webb, William Gordon, Keyon Wellington, Juwan Sullins, Liam Kane and Aaron Lugo have all qualified for the Class LL state Championships and it’s because of their ability to push and feed off each other to be the best that they can possibly be.
The team will compete on Saturday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven at 4PM for the Class LL State Championships. Tobiasz, along with the others, will look to bring home medals and qualify for the State Open, which will take place on Feb. 21.