Ed. Note: Garrett Gemmaka is this weeks’ summer feature story involving a returning Tecumseh athlete. The series concludes next week before heading into the fall sports season.
They say sibling rivalries are big growing up in the sports world. Tecumseh’s junior Garrett Gemmaka is no different.
Gemmaka is a member of both the Tecumseh cross country and track teams, and while he is focused on helping to lead the Arrows to a successful season, he also has an eye on his times to gain bragging rights in the family.
“I decided to start running when my brother and father really started to get into running,” he said. “My dad began to push me into running as well as the cross country coach, Daniel Vaughan did. I was always an active person as a kid. My brother Andy, is a very competitive runner and I am motivated to beat his times.” While he wants to beat the times run by his brother during his days with the Arrows, his highlight came with a trip deep into the post season.
“Being able to qualify in the regionals race at Welcome Stadium was definitely a highlight of my running career for track,” he said. Gemmaka was no stranger to success, as he was honored as a first-team all-CBC runner in cross country in 2016, and was fourth overall in the mile in the league last spring.
He isn’t satisfied, as he has been working toward what he feels could be a special year with the Arrows. “Spring and fall is filled up with running, but summer is too,” he said. “Over the summer I run in Yellow Springs for Southwest Ohio Track Club. I have participated for 8 years in this club which is involved with Junior Olympics. If you qualify for Nationals, you can travel across the country competing against other runners.’
“Also during the summer, I workout at Ohio Valley Sports Medicine multiple times a week involving weightlifting.” “All year, I’m trying to improve my running form and endurance. I work on these things to make me faster and stronger in a shorter amount of time.” He has set some solid goals for not only this season, but his future in running.
“I plan to make 1st Team CBC, while hoping that the Cross Country team can qualify for regionals at Troy,” he said. “I plan on running when my time for college comes around. After college, I plan on running for pure enjoyment and physical activity.” Gemmaka also is involved with his church at Home Road Nazarene, while enjoying hiking, swimming, and biking. He plans to study accounting.