Brianna Halbeisen has a laser like ability to focus even in the most stressful of circumstances. The Huntington High School junior is one of the best young runners in the state, having won championships for the Blue Devils. Those same qualities that have lifted her to the top on the track are helping maximize her academic potential, too.
Ms. Halbeisen is a great runner and she hopes to one day compete in NCAA Division I. In the meantime, she is doing everything she can to earn good grades and train daily so she can accomplish all of her goals one by one.
“This year, I am very interested in my psychology and chemistry classes,” Ms. Halbeisen said. “I feel that my chemistry class with Mrs. [Danielle] Raguzin challenges me in all the right ways. I’m also very interested in my psychology class because the curriculum is engaging and it correlates with my career path.”
The teenager the high school’s Habitat for Humanity and Key Club chapters have “piqued” her interest this year. “I appreciate everything that these clubs do for the community and offer to their participants,” Ms. Halbeisen said.
The junior is an excellent runner – one of the best in the entire state – and she is expected to star on the Blue Devil winter and spring track and field teams.
“My friends and mentors inspire me to work as hard as I do,” Ms. Halbeisen said. “As my weekends are spent with my closest friends, Finley Dunn, Caroline O’Rourke, Olivia Conte and Nina Varvatsas, they continue to push me to be the best I can be. There’s never a dull moment and they know me better than anyone. My friendships with Olivia and Caroline were definitely furthered through track. We all spend so much time together and have no choice but to work together.”
Ms. Halbeisen said she makes “it a point to build strong relationships” with track coaches Mark Jackson and Onix Salva. “It is important to me to have these bonds because my coaches have seen me at my worst and most vulnerable and they continued to push me to be the best I can be,” she said.
The junior gets along well with her classmates, teammates, teachers and coaches. She’s a hard worker and takes advice well.
“A teacher that really stood out to me and helped me with whatever I needed since I first came to the high school has been Mr. [Michael] Schwendemann and Mrs. [Jean] Czerniawski,” Ms. Halbeisen said. “They are so caring and outgoing and I love going to catch up with them every now and then. Overall, they are best teachers I’ve ever had. They always found new ways to keep the kids engaged in class when they were my teachers and obviously have continued that since then. I’ve never met someone who had a poor experience with them because of how charismatic and passionate they are with their work.”
Ms. Halbeisen’s advice to incoming freshmen? “Prioritize mental health, stay out of drama and stay involved if you can,” she said. “I feel that this is important because as an incoming freshman everything is changing. It’s important to know that you’re not going to be the same person and have all the same friends. Joining a sport keeps you occupied, is a great way to make new friends and keeps you in shape. Staying involved with the school, such as joining a club or participating in a sport comes with so many benefits that work in your favor!”
The teenager’s goal is to run for an out of state college track team that competes in NCAA Division I. “I’m hoping to go to a large school that fits my athletic ability,” Ms. Halbeisen said. “I haven’t fully decided on exactly what school, but I have narrowed it down to a few that I can work with. For my career path, I am looking into psychology. I love helping and interacting with people and I feel that it would be a great fit for me.”
Ms. Halbeisen is striving to win county and state titles for Huntington this year and capture All-American honors at the national championships. All of it is within her reach.
“My experience at Huntington has been amazing,” Ms. Halbeisen said. “I’ve never experienced more of a community setting than I have here in Huntington. All of the teachers, coaches and friends I have made here have been amazing and always so supportive and understanding. I wouldn’t trade my experience here in Huntington for anything. I am more than grateful that I had the opportunity to be a student here and I hope that others can have just as great as a time as I did.”