Athlete Spotlight: Isabella Perez-Abreu, Katia Perez-Sanchez & Isabella Sanchez

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Staff

The Athlete Spotlight series on the ILS Instagram continued last week, shining on three senior members of the girls Track and Field team. Isabella-Perez-Abreu, Katia Perez- Sanchez, and Isabella Sanchez were all integral members of the squad, and among the most successful athletes in their class.

Each of these three young women overcame obstacles during their time competing for ILS but remained integral parts of the team. They provided direction and guidance to their teammates. Both Coach Eddie and Coach Aimee Cerdeiras lauded the leadership these three athletes brought to the track team.

They’re great leaders, hard workers and amazing teammates. Each one of them has left a great impression with their coaches and team.”

— ILS AD Nick Fernandez

Isa Perez-Abreu was named captain for her senior season, and the coaches said Katia Perez-Sanchez was always there to help the underclassmen as well, pushing them to do their best. Both Eddie and Aimee noted they could envision Isa Sanchez becoming a coach down the line thanks to her attention to detail. They said Sanchez is a born leader and sets a great example for the underclassmen.

“My time as an athlete at ILS was amazing,” said Perez-Abreu. “I’ve been an athlete for my whole life but something about being an athlete at ILS just felt different.”

Isa Perez-Abreu starred on the track team for three years. She was one of the best athletes in the program and participated in both the 100-meter and 200-meter races. Perez-Abreu set a personal record in the 100-meter as a sophomore, posting a 13.42 during that race.

Unfortunately, Perez-Abreu struggled with injuries during her high school career.

“I have had my fair share of injuries, falls and bad days but that never led me to think ‘I’m going to quit,’” Perez-Abreu explained. “Even in those down moments I still felt the love and joy in the sport and the athletes around me.”

Perez-Abreu didn’t keep her injuries from supporting her teammates, as she traveled with the team to the Regionals competition to cheer on the 4×100 relay teams.

“But all through her bouts of injuries she displayed the virtue of leadership that permeated amongst her peers,” said Coach Cerdeiras.

It was through those injuries that Perez-Abreu showed her commitment to virtues she can still be an effective student athlete, even when she was not able to perform.

Similarly, Katia Perez-Sanchez demonstrated qualities of a true leader throughout her athletic career at ILS. She started as a freshman as part of the cheerleading team, then transitioned to Track for her sophomore year. Her versatility as an athlete also showed when she joined the varsity basketball team for her junior year.

“Katia is such an amazing athlete and person,” said Mr. David Fernandez, the former ILS girls basketball head coach. “She joined the team as a junior having never played at this level before. And it’s to her credit that she became a productive presence and player.”

Not many ILS Royal Lions can say they were three-sport athletes, but Katia can. Her focus though was always on track.

“Being athlete is a part of who I am and taught me some of the most important lessons,” said Perez-Sanchez. “I think that being an athlete at ILS makes me a leader and makes me feel like I am part of a family.”

Perez-Sanchez’s dedication to the craft was demonstrated in her continual improvement over the years. Particularly in overcoming injury setbacks. Coach Cerdeiras called her the “outstanding comeback student athlete.”

“Since the beginning of the school year, Katia made a commitment to be the best she could be,” said Coach Cerdeiras. “She never missed a practice, off season or in season.”

The year after returning from a serious knee injury, Perez-Sanchez registered a new personal record with a 15’1” long jump. As a senior, she was named a team captain and was part of the 4×400-meter and the Distance Medley Relay teams. She participated in multiple events throughout her career, showing her versatility.

“I think the best memories are the bus rides to games and meets and messing around with the team,” said Perez-Sanchez. “The track team has many different kinds of people and personalities and to see everyone get hype or just enjoying each other’s company is something I will never forget. The best part is at track meets when Dom Vidal and I would dance the Miami slide at every single track meet and having everyone just laughing at us. Being able to cheer on my team and see everyone succeed is so special to me.”

Isabella Sanchez found the bulk of her success with the Track and Field team as a senior.

“I started track and field my junior year and it was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made,” Sanchez said. “During practices I learned many lessons that I know I will use throughout the rest of my life.”

As a two-year member of the squad, Sanchez set personal records in both Shot Put (21’7.75”) and Discus (69’6.75”).

“She excelled the most in discuss,” said Coach Cerdeiras. “Isa pushes herself and is always trying to perfect her form. She has a great feel for when she does something wrong and will practice until she gets it right.”

Sanchez demonstrated her leadership to the underclassmen through her work ethic and attention to detail.

“My coaches saw my potential and helped me see it too, and for that I am truly grateful,” said Sanchez.

“All three of these young ladies have been so important to the team,” said ILS Athletic Director Nick Fernandez. “They’re great leaders, hard workers and amazing teammates. Each one of them has left a great impression with their coaches and team. They really tried to lead by example in every practice or meet. The team and school will really miss them!”

All three young women advise future track athletes to put in the work, but to also have fun.

“Never stop pushing yourself and always cheer on your teammates,” said Perez-Abreu. “If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll be a better athlete and person all around.”

Perez-Sanchez urged future track team members to not be lazy. “Come to practice excited and ready to put the work and effort into everything you do. Even if you are doing a workout that you hate, learn to love it because those are the ones that help you improve as an athlete.”

“My advice to future track athletes would be to never give up on yourself and be patient,” said Sanchez. “Learning new skills and techniques takes time, and with patience and effort, you will see yourself getting better. Make sure to take it one day at a time and remember that progress happens gradually and not overnight.”

These three young women have left a lasting legacy for the Track and Field team, and they are truly excellent examples of what a Royal Lion athlete could and should be.

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Here’s an athletic spotlight on the track teams Isabella Perez-Abreu, Katia Perez-Sanchez & Isabella Sanchez! 3 amazing student-athletes at Immaculata-La Salle High school! Isabella Perez-Abreu is arguably one of the best female athletes we have had at ILS. Unfortunately, injuries held her back these last couple years. But all through her bouts of injuries she displayed the virtue of leadership that permeated amongst her peers. Before her injury her Sophomore year she ran a 13.00 in 100 meters. Isa is one of those student athletes that you would constantly say, “Only if she was injury free she would have..”. Isa proved by her commitment to virtues she can still be an effective student athlete, even when she was not able to perform. She was one of the captains this year, and even though the year was cut short, she is still supporting the rest of the team giving them encouragement to continue! Katia Perez-Sanchez was our outstanding comeback student athlete we had this year. She had knee injuries her Sophomore year and was determined to overcome them. Since the beginning of the school year, Katia made a commitment to be the best she could be. She never missed a practice, off season or in season. Katia always came out to work out with a “Joy” and whenever she was late she wanted to do double the work. She was always there to help the underclassmen as well, pushing them to do their best. Her long jump PR happened this year with 15’. Her best 400 meters also came this year and was a part of our 4 x 400 relay team! Katia will be highly missed as an athlete and team leader and captain! Isabella Sanchez has been a part of the Track Team for the past two years, throwing both shot put and discuss. She excelled the most in discuss. Isa pushes herself and is always trying to perfect her form. She has a great feel for when she does something wrong and will practice until she gets it right. She started off the season with a personal best (PR) 21-meter throw, setting the pace for a great season. We can see her becoming a coach down the line with her attention to detail. She is a born leader and sets a great example for the underclassmen.

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