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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Aug 11, 2017

Ranney’s Balanced Approach is Shaping Strong Female Scholar-Athletes

Rising junior Ariana Mangana with the Junior World Bronze Medal Team

Every student athlete understands the difficult juggling act that comes with trying to balance practices and games with school work. To the competitive player, missing even one training session can be detrimental to an upcoming tournament; at the same time, they know that missed academic instruction is nearly impossible to replace. Students at Ranney School in Tinton Falls take pride in being able to pursue both tracks to their fullest, as student-centered instruction and work-life balance are not only encouraged, they are part of the core mission. Each year, student-athletes at Ranney bring this mission to life, and in the past two years, several of them have been females. Five young women have been recruited for collegiate teams from the past two graduating classes of about 80 students: the Class of 2017’s Alexis Redish of Howell will play softball at Clark University and Olivia Smith of Manasquan will row at Bucknell; the Class of 2016’s Mallory Burlington of Spring Lake is a rower at Fairfield University, Audra Smires of Freehold swims for Lehigh, and Nicole Vaiani of Wall fences for the University of Pennsylvania. Looking ahead to the 2017-2018 school year, rising senior Abby Boyan of Spring Lake and rising junior Ariana Mangano of Colts Neck are already making a name for themselves at the national, and even international, level.

Recognized as a top goal shooter in New Jersey, Abby Boyan has already verbally committed to play soccer for the University of Georgia after graduation. She credits Ranney with helping her reach her goals on and off the field. “Being a three-season athlete and handling the rigorous academic load at Ranney has not been easy, but has been made possible with the help and cooperation of my coaches and teachers,” she says. A Ranney student since kindergarten, Abby joined the soccer, lacrosse, swim, and track teams in Middle School, and she hasn’t stopped since. In addition to varsity sports at Ranney, she plays on the nationally ranked PDA O’Reilly Club Soccer Team, which requires her to travel after school and on the weekends. She is just as involved in her academic life; in addition to competing in the Math League, she is an active member of the National French, Mathematics, Science, and Art Honors Societies.

Ariana Mangano is not only a fierce fencer on campus; she’s an Olympic hopeful. This past spring, she was recognized as one of the most successful young epee competitors on the domestic circuit and earned a spot on the U.S. Junior World Team and U.S. World Cadet Team. At the 2017 World Championships in Bulgaria, her Junior World team took bronze among competitors from approximately 30 countries and gold at this year’s Pan Am Championships in Cuba. Earlier in the season, Ariana won silver in the December North American Cup (Div I NAC) and gold at the November NAC (Jr. and Cadet). To contend at this level, she trains nearly six days a week year-round, yet still finds time to complete her school work.

Ranney’s new athletic director, Natalie Gorman, says, “We are so proud of the accomplishments of these female student athletes. They are extremely disciplined and able to manage their time very wisely. It is a great time to be a female student-athlete, as the opportunities at the college and professional level are at an all-time high across many sports. Our broad range of athletics at Ranney, coupled with the rigorous academic curriculum, gives our student-athletes the life skills necessary to excel in any avenue they choose.”