EDISON, NJ-- Ariana Di Landro of Elizabeth, a senior at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison, was more than proud to represent her school at the National Girls and Women in Sports Day. The honor made Ariana reflect on her own achievements and what the school has meant to her in the past four years.
This year’s event was not held in person on the Seton Hall University campus as in past years, but instead run as a virtual event on Feb. 3. That did not dampen her enthusiasm or take away from the meaning of this recognition for Ariana, who is extremely grateful for what W+H has given her in the past four years.
“It is always with pride that I get to represent Wardlaw+Hartridge. I feel like this school has given me so much in terms of community, life goals, and values that it seems that the simplest way I can give back is by representing our school with pride,” Ariana said.
W+H girls’ soccer head coach Mike Romeo feels fortunate to have coached such a wonderful player and determined leader. He will miss Ariana’s consistent presence at the center of his defense.
“Ariana represents the very best of what a Wardlaw+Hartridge student-athlete can be,” Coach Romeo said. “As our captain, she proved to be a positive and fearless force that inspired and unified our team. Her competitive leadership and her commitment to academics make her a well-deserved recipient of this honor.”
While her scholastic soccer career ended with another strong, albeit abbreviated season last fall, Ariana is starting to realize her days as a W+H student are coming to an end. She’s feeling a bit nostalgic as the final trimester of senior year is only weeks away.
“When I think about how in a short four months the hallways of Wardlaw will be in the distant past, a wave of sorrow hits,” Ariana said. “The laughter between my classmates, the nerves of taking the next chemistry test or tackling the next opponent on the field will be simply a memory because there won't be another match. It goes without saying that I am a student-athlete. I wouldn't be who I am without both. From the first preseason when I met my soccer teammates to the first time I hit the hardwood floor on a jump ball, the athletics has given me more sisters that I could as for and a source of stress-relief after a long day of school.”
An honor student with a superb academic record, Ariana will join Sydney Johnson of Piscataway, last year’s W+H representative at the National Girls and Women in Sports event, at Princeton University in the fall.
“As a student-athlete, I have always felt like more of a student than an athlete, so when I heard that I was receiving the award for National Women in Sports Day, I was in awe, because I know I am not the most talented player,” Ariana said. “To feel that the four years I have contributed to the athletic community at W+H have not gone unnoticed warms my heart and this will definitely be an award I will hold in the back my head when I'm feeling fatigued on the field and need to keep moving.”
The Wardlaw+Hartridge School (1295 Inman Ave., N. Edison) is Central Jersey’s premier PreK-12 independent school. The campus is located near the Scotch Plains border and just five miles from downtown Westfield. It is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational day school that prepares students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnection. Wardlaw+Hartridge provides an educational atmosphere characterized by academic challenge, support for individual excellence, diversity, and a familial sense of community. To take a virtual tour of the school, visit www.whschool.org/admission/take-a-virtual-tour.