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November 07, 2013 - Image 71

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-11-07

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sports

Kudos For Excellence

Steve Stein
Contributing Writer

W

e conclude our profiles of
Jewish News High School
Athletes of the Year with
items on Molly Gelb and Jennica
Lurie, who share the honor for female
athletes.

Molly Gelb
Molly Gelb
was a standout
diver for four
years on the
Ann Arbor
Huron High
School girls
swimming and
diving team.
She com-
peted in the Michigan High School
Athletic Association Division 1 state
meet three times — finishing 15th as
a sophomore, eighth as a junior and
sixth as a senior — and she was an
All-American as a junior and senior.
Gelb placed third and second in
the conference meet as a junior and
senior, and she was a regional cham-
pion as a senior. She qualified for
regionals four times.
She was team captain and MVP
in her senior season and the team's
Rookie of the Year when she was a
freshman.
Now a freshman at Brown
University in Providence, R.I., Gelb
is a diver on the Ivy League school's
women's swimming and diving team.
She admits she has sports super-
stitions and wishes she didn't have
them.
"Diving is truly a mental sport:' she
said.
"So while I have superstitions about
what suit I wear and the kind of food
I eat before a meet, I think one of the
keys to success in any sport is build-
ing up the mental strength to be able
to overcome superstitions."
Gelb earned several academic
honors in high school. She says
competing in sports helps her in the
classroom.
"Participating in athletics has
taught me a lot about time manage-
ment, balancing athletics, academics
and any free time I have:' she said.
Her favorite athlete is 2008
Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson. "I
remember watching her leading up to
and in the Olympics and thinking she
had it all: strength, grace and a little
bit of spunk," she said.
Gelb also enjoys ballet. She's been
dancing since she was 3.

Jennica
Lurie
Jennica Lurie
competed in
gymnastics,
diving and
pole vault at
East Lansing
High School
and now is
involved in
club gymnastics as a freshman at Ohio
University in Athens, Ohio.
She was a two-time All-State gym-
nast, two-time all-conference and
regional qualifying diver and two-time
conference champion and state quali-
fier in pole vault.
A youth club gymnast for 12 years,
she reached Level 9. She was Level 8
all-around champion at the Spartan
Showcase and Motown Madness
meets, and she qualified twice for the
Michigan regional team.
It's probably not surprising that
Lurie's favorite athletes are gymnasts.
"I enjoy watching all the national
team gymnasts, but every four years
when the Olympics roll around I
pick my favorite based on their skills,
strengths and artistry:' she said.
"This past summer, Aly Raisman
was my favorite. I like to root for the
underdog. Not many people predicted
she'd make it to the all-around finals so
it was pretty exciting when she did:'
Sports have been a big part of Lurie's
life.
"I've learned valuable lessons in
leadership, perseverance, teamwork
and self-motivation:' she said.
"Those skills have given me a founda-
tion to be successful not only in sports
but the professional world as well:'

More Honorees
The 29th Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
induction class includes ex-college
tennis stars Debbie Michelson Fuger
and Rick Zussman, ex-college baseball
standout Martin Wolfe, ex-college
basketball star Dan Arnold and sports
broadcaster Eli Zaret. The awards were
presented at last month's banquet.
Also honored were the 2013 Pillars
of Excellence award winners Herb
Bernstein, Ken Bertin, Ed Krass,
Karen Sklar Gordon and the late Fred
Goldberg. This award honors out-
standing contributions to sports and
the enrichment of the community.
Former Detroit Lions tight end
Charlie Sanders, a 2007 inductee into
the NFL Hall of Fame, was presented
with the Alvin Foon Humanitarian
Award.

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