Since her freshman year, a lot of hard work has certainly paid off for Hamden senior girls indoor track standout Aisha Gay.
While the hard work helped her develop into one of the top runners in Connecticut in the 300-meter event, it also contributed to her success as she competed for this first time this season in the 55 dash.
She won the 300 in 39.56 seconds at the CIAC State Open and was second in the 55 in 7.26 at the meet. At the CIAC Class LL meet, she set a meet record by winning the 300 in 40.25 and was third in the 55 in 7.38. She kicked off her postseason at the Southern Connecticut Conference meet by winning both the 300 (40.42) and 55 (7.39).
Gay also competed at the New Balance National High School Indoor Track Championships and was 22nd in the 400 (56.03) and 34th in the 200 (25.28).
For her success in all the postseason meets she has been selected the Register All-Area girls indoor track most valuable player.
“Heading into the postseason meets, I definitely expected to do well in the 300,” Gay said. “But with this being my first year in the 55, I was especially excited that I did so well in that event. All of my success on the track is a direct result of a lot of hard work and a lot of long practices.
“Another reason for my success is I really stay focused during all my meets. Staying positive, staying focused on everything and being serious when I prepare for each race is key forme. Once my races are over, that’s the time to laugh and have jokes and reflect on what I’ve accomplished.”
Hamden girls indoor track coach Mike Migliore said Gay has many strengths as a runner.
“Aisha is very self-disciplined in her work habits,” Migliore said. “She sets high standards for herself and will work towards attaining her goals every day. The tenacity and motivation she displays has had a positive effect on the entire team. It is a pleasure to coach Aisha.”
At the State Open, she led the Green Dragons to a tie with Hillhouse for third place in the team standings with 28 points each. Hamden finished seventh in Class LL with 26 points.
“Finishing third at the State Open was a surprise for us,” Gay said. “I was happy to be able to contribute to that success and to contribute all I could for success the entire season.”
Gay will be running track for Quinnipiac University.
“Quinnipiac is a great fit for me,” Gay said. “I like the academics (she will major in international business) and I also wanted to stay close to home.”