His mother made him do it.
When Bella Sing was in her sophomore year, her mother advised her to take up track and field as part of Rutherford’s recreation program.
Sing hated it.
“I thought running was boring and I used to try and do whatever I could not to train,” she recalls.
But when she started the long jump in fifth grade, it got a little better. She was jumping in the sand and it reminded her to go to the beach.
Then came the eighth year, and Sing was introduced to hurdles.
“I did a lot of sports like basketball, volleyball and gymnastics,” Sing said. “And with the exception of volleyball, I gave them up to focus on the track.”
This posed a problem recently when COVID protocols moved volleyball to March, bringing it into conflict with the winter track.
“It was difficult to do both at the same time, and I was just exhausted, so I gave up the winter track and stayed with the volleyball,” she said. “But I was nervous about being behind everyone else because I was’ not doing the same training. ”
Those concerns were eased when Sing broke a 37-year-old school record in the long jump in an early-season home encounter with Eastern Christian and Hawthorne.
“Breaking the long jump record has been a goal for me for a long time,” said Sing, whose 18-foot jump that day broke Sue Frazier’s record of 17-9 in 1984. “I had can’t wait to do it in every competition, because I had done a lot in training and had also done some big jumps. ”
Sing took the score to 18-3½ by winning the Bergen B title two weeks ago and hopes to jump even further early in the State Series. While she usually does four events in a competition, including the hurdles and the 200-meter, she expects to reduce it to two after the sections – the long jump and the 100 hurdles.
“I really want to win these two in the sections and see what I can do in the groups.”
Sing turns to yoga to keep her focused and ready.
“I use stretching a lot to prepare myself physically and meditation helps me focus my mind,” she said, adding that she also wrote to clear her mind and allow herself to understand what it is. she must do on the track. gives me mental clarity because if my free space is disturbed I am not performing as well as I should. ”
It’s no surprise that Sing majored in neuroscience at the University of Rhode Island with the intention of becoming a counselor and psychologist.
“The mind is so fascinating and not much is known about it,” she said. “I just want to understand it better.”
One thing she understands now is that she could have the chance to compete on track at the Division I level.
“I’m definitely thinking about it now, and the coach has been in contact with me and I plan to meet her soon,” Sing said. “It sounds unreal. I never thought it would get to this point.”
Her mother, Jenny, who started the long journey by persuading Bella to do track and field 10 years ago, is still active as a distance runner and does marathons.
So what about this young girl who almost dropped out in sophomore because running was boring?
“I want to have a long run with mum,” she says now. “I want to do a marathon someday.”
MALE ATHLETE:Thenell makes headlines inside and outside New Jersey
Classify: Senior: Age: 17
Achievement: Sing was the only girl to win four gold medals in individual events at the Red Littler Bergen County competition and three days later she won the 100 and 400 hurdles and the long jump and placed in a fourth event at the NJIC Colonial Competition.
Also nominated: Natalie Rietema of Lakeland, Brooke Biamonte of Wood-Ridge, Emily Bakker of Hawthorne, Mira Fish of Glen Rock and Ysabellah Otero of New Milford for softball; and Sanai Bryant of Dumont, Carli Sorvino of Emerson, Molly Bennett of Northern Highlands and Briana Andreoli of Hawthorne for track and field.