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The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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Athlete of the Week: Jayden Gilbert

John Pham
Sophomore Jayden Gilbert participates on a total of five teams, with three of them being in the spring season alone.

Sophomore Jayden Gilbert always knew he would go to La Salle, and once he did, he quickly became an active member in the athletic programs during every sports season. “It’s what I love, [and] it’s what I’ve known my whole life,” Gilbert said.

During this past year, Gilbert participated in cross country during the fall, basketball during the winter, and is participating in both volleyball and track and field this spring. 

With all of Gilbert’s athletic endeavors, stress is prominent, yet he pushes through because sports are not only fun but also an escape for him, posing as a way for him to relieve his stress. Sports are “something I can focus on instead of having multiple things … I can focus on that one race or that one play,” Gilbert said.

This spring season is the busiest time for Gilbert, which has become a balancing act between his multiple sports and his academics. His track schedule consists of practices five days a week and meets twice a week, where he competes in the 400-meter dash, the 4×100 relay, and the 4×400 relay events. 

Additionally, he attends two separate volleyball practices where he plays the position of libero for both teams. He attends La Salle volleyball practices twice a week, and his club volleyball practices through Northwest Elite occur once a week with tournaments on the weekends.   

With such a busy schedule, a question arises: why not quit one of the sports in order to relieve some of the stress?

But for Gilbert, the thought of quitting one has never crossed his mind.

“That’s what a lot of people think too, but for me … when I’m sitting at home and I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m kind of bored,’ instead of just scrolling on my phone, I’m going to go for a run or I’m going to go outside and do something,” Gilbert said.

With OSAA’s addition of boys volleyball this year, Gilbert was thrilled when he heard the news. He started playing club volleyball this past year and found himself nervous at first, as it was a sport he’d never done before, but he quickly found his place. Then, by recommendation from senior Tyler Smith, he joined the La Salle team this year.  

One of Gilbert’s goals for the La Salle volleyball season is introducing the sport to as many people as possible. Due to it being such a new team, there are many new players, and with that Gilbert hopes to get everyone as much experience as they can to hopefully make it to the state tournament. 

Gilbert has also found success in track and field, specifically in attending last year’s state championship meet hosted at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon Campus, competing in the 4×100, and finishing eighth overall as a freshman. 

Gilbert’s goal for this track and field season is to do it again, and place even better this time around. 

“That was definitely one of my favorite experiences from track … being able to run with that team at state and being able to do a repeat again with the same team this year. And then knowing that we have a shot to win it all is so cool,” Gilbert said. 

Balancing track and volleyball often means that certain practices need to be skipped or one sport prioritized over the other, yet Gilbert has found his teammates have been nothing but understanding and encouraging.

“My teammates through both sports have always been very supportive of me doing both and knowing that even though I’m not at practice that one day,” Gilbert said, “I’m still fully committed to that team.” 

Though Gilbert participates in such a wide range of sports, his mentality and commitment remains the same with them all. 

“I always try and keep the same mentality for whatever sport I’m doing. [I] push myself to be the best that I can and … I feel like my teammates do the same too,” Gilbert said. “Having someone around the same speed as me or even the same skill level … will always push me to try and be better.” 

Through all the sports Gilbert has done, his mom has always stuck with him and been his biggest fan. 

“My mom’s kind of always been my number one supporter for sports,” Gilbert said. “She’s always encouraged me just to try everything … [when] I was wondering if she would support me doing multiple sports at once … and she was like ‘go, whatever you want to do, do everything.’” 

With a packed schedule and a lot of passion, Gilbert takes on this spring season with a hope for success and a work ethic to achieve that success. 

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  • S

    Sonya P TriplettApr 19, 2024 at 1:34 pm

    Great Job, Jayden! Everyone is so proud of you! Keep up the good work and enjoy every minute of it.

  • C

    Christine WestApr 18, 2024 at 7:24 pm

    What an impressive athlete !!
    So dedicated & focused to multiple sports.
    Awesome job Jayden !!