Athletics: An 8K Catch-up with Gianna Sbarbaro

Athletics: An 8K Catch-up with Gianna Sbarbaro

Get to know freshman Gianna Sbarbaro as she gets us up to speed with how she's been spending her time, her experiences at USD and moving back home to Hawaii amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is a regular feature on the USD Athletics website this semester.

1. What does your typical day look like right now?
My typical day, while constantly changing in terms of working around my class schedule, consistently has a few activities that I always try to fit in daily. Usually, I'll start my morning with a run so that I can try and beat the midday heat and humidity. I've been getting creative with some new running routes and exploring new trails to stay fit and in shape. After that, I'll usually make breakfast and attend virtual classes. I also have a part time job helping to take care of horses in Waimanalo, so I will often head out to the equestrian center to get some of the barn chores done like exercise riding, feeding, and grooming the horses. In between runs and horseback riding, I also try to walk my two dogs with my brother along the beach, or go for an evening bike ride or ocean swim with my dad. I've certainly been staying busy, but when I have some extra free time in the day, I'm catching up with friends, cooking, hiking, or making art.

2. Where is your current favorite running spot?
My favorite running spot is the Ohana trail in Olomana. The trail is a beautiful 6.3 mile loop going through the forest, and despite it being all hills and switchbacks, I always enjoy running along the Ko'olau mountain range and seeing the bright flowers around me (especially in the springtime). I just have to remember to wear shoes that I don't mind getting dirty, as the trail can get a bit muddy!

3. What is your favorite memory so far running for the Toreros?
Even though our year was cut short, it was full of many amazing memories that make me grateful to be a part of this amazing group of talented athletes. However, my favorite memory was racing in Riverside last fall. Our whole team spent part of the weekend in Riverside for a race at UCR, and while it was not only a weekend of personal bests for many, it was so much fun being able to spend time with the team before and after the race. I especially loved our post-race pit stop at a local diner, where everyone celebrated while eating back the calories we just lost on our run!

4. What is your favorite race day meal?
I've tried a lot of pre-race meals, but after running and racing for so long and experimenting with different foods, I was able to find the pre-race meal that makes me feel great and ready to race every time. A few hours before the start, I always have a bagel with nut butter (Nuttzo is my favorite spread), sliced banana, and granola on top. I'll also have a pop tart - the whole meal is an ideal balance of carbs and protein for the race. But after I finish racing, I'll eat anything. However, nothing is more rewarding than something chocolate or something sweet.

5. What songs can be found on your running/warmup playlist?
My go-to running playlist is a compilation of my favorite hits from the 2000s, EDM song remixes, country and rap songs. It's a crazy variety, but the playlist in its entirety is 6 hours and 56 minutes long so putting it on shuffle helps get me through even my longest of runs.

6. What do you miss most about being on campus?
I really miss dorming with my roommate, and seeing my friends and other teammates in person on campus. I loved spending hours in the SLP catching up with them at dinner time, and I can't wait to see them all again in person next year.

7. Besides your sport and school, how are you passing the time while practicing social distancing?
While I've not had as much free time as I initially expected, I spend my free time cooking, going to the beach, and playing games with my family. While I do miss seeing all my friends at school, coming home made me realize that I guess I missed my younger brother more than I thought.

8. What is one thing most people do not know about you?
One thing most people don't know about me is that I actually failed my driver's license test twice before finally getting it on my third try. My mom made me practice parallel parking on a hill for a long time after failing the test for the second time — she wanted to make sure I was passing the third time so that we didn't have to spend another long morning at the DMV!

—USD Athletics

Freshman student-athlete Gianna Sbarbaro is adjusting to being back home in Hawaii after an abbreviated spring semester at USD due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about this Torero runner.Freshman student-athlete Gianna Sbarbaro is adjusting to being back home in Hawaii after an abbreviated spring semester at USD due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about this Torero runner.

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