Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wayne Hills Turns It Around

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wayne Hills Turns It Around

Article excerpt

WAYNE - For Alisha Gomez-Shah, looks are definitely deceiving. The low-key but coolly efficient Gomez-Shah is the heart and soul of the Wayne Hills girls fencing team.

Although only 5 feet 3, Gomez-Shah has emerged as one of the top saber artists in New Jersey and is a highly rated club competitor in national and international events.

"Alisha has grown into a poised, confident, consistent and mature beyond her years master strategist," said Wayne Hills coach Christina Ventimiglia. "She's committed and has never wavered in her abilities and qualities as a leader who will lend guidance to anyone else on the team, regardless of weapon."

After a victory over Teaneck on Thursday, Wayne Hills is 6-2, rebounding from a 3-10 campaign a year ago. Gomez-Shah, a senior, went 3-0 on the saber A strip against the Highwaywomen to improve to 24-0.

"The most important achievement of this season is the way the team has measurably improved, individual goals come second," said Gomez-Shah, whose sister, Alexandra, is a sophomore on the saber squad.

"We've come a long way."

The Patriots' only two losses were to Pompton Lakes, 15-12, and to state power Northern Highlands, 14-13.

The 17-year-old Gomez-Shah signed a letter-of-intent in November to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where she will major in biology to start before working into sports psychology or sports therapy. She will be a teammate of Northern Highlands' Cindy Oh and Ania Parzecki, and also Highlanders alumnae and current Wildcats freshman Jennifer Yamin.

Gomez-Shah is a national honor society member who sports a 3.8 grade-point average while taking honors and advanced placement courses.

After going 35-1 in her sophomore year and 34-2 last season, Gomez-Shah is 93-3 for her career, and after not fencing as a freshman, should remarkably be able to hit the century mark in less than two weeks. …

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