BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Gov. Livingston senior pole vaulter Lauren Zyska recently captured first place at the NJSIAA North Group 2 Sectional Championship -- vaulting 9-00.

Zyska was also part of the highly successful Highlander Varsity Volleyball Team, who ended the season with a 16-6 record. They reached the semifinal round of the UCT and the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA Group 2 championships. In the 2019 fall season Zyska recorded 76 kills, 66 digs, 162 assists and 138 service points with 30 aces. 

"I had the best volleyball season, and it felt like the perfect culmination of my four years on the varsity team," said Zyska. "The program is relatively new, and with the success my team had this year, the team is able to progress and gain more respect in the community. The team this year was one of the best I had ever been on and I felt we gelled more than I ever had with previous teams." 

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"Lauren is a tremendous athlete and we are very proud of her Sectional Championship this winter in the pole vault," said Gov. Livingston head track coach Dan Guyton. "Her first sport has always been Volleyball and I think she has competed in Track & Field for fun and as a way to train.  Her improvement has been steady and we are excited to see how she does down the road this spring season." 

For her accomplishments at the Union County Tournament and dedication to Gov. Livingston athletics, Lauren Zyska has been named the Valairco Heating and Cooling Highlander Athlete of the Week.

Zyska took time out to answer a few questions in recognition of being named Valairco Heating and Cooling Highlander Athlete of the Week.

TAPinto: How have you seen progress throughout the season, from the beginning of the indoor season until now?

Lauren: I have had a lot of progress from the beginning of the season, as my coaches and I have been working hard at practice to make sure I am back to where I left off the spring season and able to try and make a new personal record. It is always hard in the winter to vault but I have been trying my best to go to pole vault facilities to improve. 

TAPinto: What is your favorite venue to compete at?

Lauren: The New York armory is my personal favorite facility I love the history that it has and I think it truly embodies the perfect indoor track facility. 

TAPinto: How do you keep motivating yourself to get better?

Lauren: I am inherently a competitive person because I was raised as an athlete, and I constantly want to improve myself no matter what I am doing. 

TAPinto: What are you goals for the future, near and distant?

Lauren: I hope to improve my police vault skills into the spring season and clear 10 feet by the end of the spring season. 

TAPinto: Do you have any pre-competition rituals/superstitions?

Lauren: No, my routine changes every meet based on how I am feeling that day. I do not really believe in superstitions. 

TAPinto: When you're not competing or training, what do you like to do in your free time?

Lauren: I love to do yoga in my free time as well as listen to music. 

TAPinto: What was your favorite all time memory with Gov. Livingston athletics? 

Lauren: My favorite memory was winning a tournament in Morris knolls with my volleyball team this year, as it felt amazing to be such an instrumental part of a winning team.  

TAPinto: Who is your mentor?

Lauren: I don’t think I have one specific mentor, but rather am mentored by each individual coach I have had over the years. With both school track and volleyball as well as club volleyball, I have had a myriad of different coaches that have mentored me and contributed to the person I am today. 

TAPinto: Who is your role model?

Lauren: My role model is my mother because of how hard she works to help me and my brothers. 

TAPinto: What do you like best about Gov. Livingston HS?

Lauren: I like the teachers at the GL. 

TAPinto: What is your favorite class/professor/why?

Lauren: My favorite class I have taken is Econ because I enjoy looking at such a broad scope of the country and the way it functions economically and plan to major in it. 

TAPinto: Favorite athlete of all time?

My favorite athlete of all time is Simone Biles because I think she is legitimately the greatest athlete ever. No athlete can rival the sheer power and strength she has, as well as match the accomplishments she has and will continue to win. 

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Valairco Heating & Cooling is the proud sponsor of the Highlander Athlete of the Week. Kevin McHugh, Valairco Owner and President and Berkeley Heights resident, is an alumni of Gov. Livingston High School.

Valairco Heating & Cooling is celebrating 50 years in business. They are family owned and operated and know that keeping your HVAC systems running smoothly is important to the comfort of our customers, their families, and their guests. That is why their family is dedicated to taking care of yours, no matter what the issue may be. Using only top-quality parts to perform a higher-standard of service and all their services are backed by their 50 years of professional experience and 5-year comprehensive warranties. This means that when you call our team at Valairco, you benefit from their total commitment to your complete satisfaction.