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THE BUSY SPORTS LIFE OF GIA SARUSAL

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By Robert Balajadia

Gia Sarusal is known as "The Cheetah" on the football field due to her blazing speed. (GSPN file photo)

Gia Sarusal is known as “The Cheetah” on the football field due to her blazing speed. (GSPN file photo)

At 21 years old, Gianna Sarusal is already doing more in sports than most people do in a lifetime. Gia was named the Outstanding Young Adult Female Athlete of 2013 by the Fitness and Sports community, an award she was grateful and humble for.

“I am honored to receive this award because it feels great to be recognized for my accomplishments. Everybody loves to be heard of or known for the things they are passionate about doing. The feeling is just indescribable when someone notices your hard work being put into what you do. But, this is just the beginning,” she stated.

With an agenda like Sarusal, your heart and mind have to be in the right place. Sarusal is currently attending GCC in pursuit of a degree in criminal justice. While being a student-athlete her whole life, Gia finds the balance in doing it the college level, when the commitment level needs to be at an all-time high.

“It is all about priorities. If I know that I have to train or I have practice that night, I make sure that I do all my homework and school projects before I do anything else. If it’s a big project or if I need more time, I take the night off of my sports, but it is very rare that I do that because I can’t go a day without sports.”

Gia Sarusal

Gia Sarusal

No diet needed for this busy body. Sarusal keeps herself so active, working out at least four to five days a week, that she is allowed to eat whatever she wants. Her drive to be better nullifies any temptations of laziness.

Sarusal has won championships in all the sports she has played. She won a basketball and rugby title with the GW Geckos, two championships with the Team Legacy football, and even won boxing matches.

Gia has been on team and individual sports but does not consider any of them her favorite due to what each of them have taught her.

“In a team sport, of course you have other players to depend on and if you are weak at something, you always have someone there to pick you up and to fill in for you.In an individual sport, you only have yourself to depend on. The coaches can only do so much but once you get out there, it is all about your next move. It really helped me to define who I am as a person and what my strengths and weaknesses are.”

KEEPING BUSY

Outstanding Young Female Athlete - Gia Sarusal

 Gia Sarusal accepting the 2013 Outstanding Young Female Athlete

21 year old half Filipino/half Chamorro Gianna has been actively involved in island sports since she started playing basketball in the Sinajana Rockers and Barrigada Crusaders youth basketball program and  the middle school Jose Rios Voyagers. She played Center/Power Forward for the GW Lady Geckos varsity team her entire high school career, winning a championship in her 2009 Junior year.

She was on the GW Rugby team her senior year and earned her 2nd high school championship with them. Boxing since 2008, she represented Guam in the Guam Amateur Boxing Federation’s Monster Energy Guam vs Philippines Goodwill Boxing Competition, where in Gianna’s second boxing match ever, she faced the Philippines’ Nesty Petecio, who was ranked #5 in the world by AIBA (worldwide sanctioning body of Amateur Boxing).

She also represented Guam in Saipan in 2011 when she boxed against a professional MMA fighter in an exhibition match. Gianna has played in all 3 seasons of the Guam Women’s Tackle Football League, and has been named first team all island running back all 3 seasons (no other player has done that), was named the League’s offensive Most Valuable Player in 2012, and led her team to an unprecedented 2 straight back to back championships.

Gianna was also contacted by the Miss Guam World pageant organizers this past May to compete in their event, which Gia had to decline due to a conflict in her playoff football schedule.

A full time student this semester at GCC pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice, Gianna also holds down a part time job as Admin Assistant with Legacy Wealth Management. Gianna continues her evolution as a combat sports enthusiast currently training with Team Countershot, learning kickboxing and MMA, with hopes of competing at the highest level of MMA in the region (PXC) while still retaining her amateur status in the hopes of getting the opportunity to represent Guam in boxing in the summer Olympics 2016 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

One day, Gia hopes to be mentioned in the same breath with local fighters like Jon Tuck and Baby Joe Taimanglo.

Since beginning her amateur boxing career, Gia has weighed in for every GABF/GIBC competition, but no female has come out to match up with her. She says she respects all females that train in boxing, martial arts, BJJ, MMA and is just looking to gain experience and to help build up the female division in combat sports.

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