UNION, NJ – Union High School wrestler Sarah Ilori has been selected TAPinto Union’s February Female Athlete of the Month.

Ilori took third place in her weight class of 147 lbs. in the first-ever NJSIAA Girls Wrestling Regional Tournament and fifth place in the inaugural girls state championship in Atlantic City.

About her achievements, Ilori, a freshman, said, “my parents are my number one supporters. They do all they can to try to make me a better wrestler, by making me go on early morning runs to signing me up for different wrestling clubs. They never give up on me even if I don’t get first place, and that's why I love them.”

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Asked why she began wrestling, Ilori said, “I started wrestling because I heard the announcement for the wrestling meeting at school and wanted to join a team. I like trying new things and thought this would be a great sport to try my first year in high school. I also throw for the track team and really enjoy my time there.”

What’s your favorite part of being a high school athlete?

I think being a high school athlete is fun. You get to show other kids your age that they are able to do the same to do the same thing.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?

My favorite athlete is Serena Williams because no matter how many times people talk down to her she still proves time and time again that she is an amazing athlete and person overall.

What are the most important attributes of being a leader?

I feel like the most important attribute of being a leader is being able to be confident in yourself.

What is your greatest high school accomplishment so far?

I think my greatest accomplishment so far is going to the first all-girls regionals and states and placing at both. But, since I just started, hopefully many more will come.

Do you play any other sports? What’s your favorite?

I throw shot put during the spring track and field season. But, I prefer wrestling.

What’s your favorite subject? Why?

My favorite subject is U.S. history.  I love it because I like learning about how our nation was formed.

If you could spend the day with anyone in the world alive or dead, who would it be?

I know this is more than one person, but I would love to spend a day with all four of the Beatles. I just feel like they were so ahead of their time and I would like to know how they thought and what inspired them.

What would your words of wisdom to be future UHS Athletes?

Don’t let other people bring you down no matter what. Never stop working your hardest, and always keep pushing.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A Plastic Surgeon

What was the most difficult thing for you to overcome as a student-athlete?

Not using my gender as an excuse and letting it hold me back.

Who inspires you?

My family, because they are always pushing me to do my best.

What are your plans after high school?

I would like to go to a 4 year University, preferably Johns Hopkins University.