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Glendale Prep Athlete Earns #1 Spot in Arizona for Girls Shot Put

Glendale Prep June 28, 2024 -

Sofia receiving first place at AIA track meet

Sofia Boonzaayer, a rising senior at Glendale Prep, has recently achieved remarkable success in high school athletics, earning the #1 spot in the state of Arizona for Girls Shot Put. Earlier, at the Divisional Championships, Boonzaayer’s talent was on display as she secured first place in discus and second place in shot put. Her performance led to her qualifying for the all-state meet in both events, where she finished first in shot put.

Sofia on a track showing her medal

Attending Glendale Prep has played a significant role in Boonzaayer’s development as both a student and an athlete. “The rigorous courses and high expectations at Great Hearts have made me a disciplined student-athlete,” she said. “Balancing schoolwork and training is hard, but I am better because of it.”

Through her experience in this sport, Boonzaayer has learned the value of patience. “The movements are highly technical, so it takes time to learn and see improvement, but the hard work always pays off,” she said. She emphasizes that throwing isn’t solely about raw strength; it requires perfecting technique, practicing consistency, and exercising patience to achieve significant results.

Sofia receiving first place at track meet

Her athletic capabilities are well-rounded and extend beyond track and field. “Weightlifting is a big part of my strength training,” she said. “I was also a dancer for 10 years before I decided to focus on track and field, where, in addition to throwing, I have competed in sprints and hurdles.”

Competing is a unique experience for Boonzaayer. Her goal is to remain calm and replicate the movements she has practiced countless times. “Nerves can get in the way and lead to overthinking, so keeping a clear head and relying on my training is crucial,” she notes. Despite occasional setbacks, she views every meet as a learning opportunity and a chance to challenge herself and showcase her hard work. “And when I do hit a big throw, it’s the best feeling and I can’t wait for it to happen again.”

Sofia with her family

“Before stepping into the ring, I make sure to clear my head,” she explained. “People often think that throwing involves getting angry and fired up, and while it might be true for many, I find that I throw my best when I am the most relaxed.” To achieve this state, Boonzaayer takes time to pray, finding confidence and calmness in her faith, which helps alleviate pre-meet anxiety.

Sofia with her family

Boonzaayer attributes much of her success to her supportive family. “My parents have always been present at every one of my meets, showing me unwavering support both at home and on the field,” she said. Her parents, Martin and Tina Boonzaayer, are both former athletes themselves. Her mother played volleyball at ASU, and her father represented the USA at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in the sport of judo. “We are very proud of her hard work and determination to improve her skills. But even more so, we are proud of how she carries herself, with kindness and humility,” they shared. “As former athletes, we knew that the drive has to come from within. Parents can encourage and support, but the child has to have their own motivation. We provided opportunities, but our children have to make their own choices on what they want to pursue.” They also appreciate the supportive environment at Great Hearts, which challenges students to grow both academically and in character.

Sofia with her coaches

Boonzaayer said her coach, Eric Webdale, has been instrumental in her development, celebrating her victories and creating opportunities for her to compete in larger meets. His dedication and belief in her potential have been invaluable. “It’s clear that he takes pride in my achievements and genuinely wants to see me succeed,” she shared.

Boonzaayer’s athletic accomplishments in track and field reflect her hard work, discipline, and the support of her family and coach. Her #1 spot in shot put is just the beginning of what promises to be a bright future in sports and an abundantly fruitful, balanced life.

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