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The Activities Matter - Student Spotlight Blog

November Student Spotlight

Tibs Proctor

Tibebeu Proctor is a junior at The Northwest School in Seattle. A passionate and talented runner, Proctor is one of the WIAA’s Activities Matter Student Spotlight for the month of November.
Proctor, who goes by his nickname “Tibs”, earned WIAA Athlete of the Week honors for his 1A District Meet victory finishing ahead of the competition by 40 seconds. He went on to win the 2015 1A State Title on November 7, in a time of 15:32.1.

Proctor has finished in the Top 10 at State all three years. As a freshman, he placed fourth and as a sophomore, sixth. For an athlete who didn’t start running cross country until his freshman year, his passion and pure talent have served him well. He is The Northwest School’s team captain, placed second in the Championship Division of the Nike Portland XC Invite (15:11.70, 5k), and second at the Sundodger Invite (15:08.79, 5k).

His coach, Joe Bisignano, noticed from day one that Tibs was a special runner.

“Running is really hard and very few kids grin ear to ear the way Tibs does,” Bisignano said. “The harder it is, the happier he is. A lot of kids get in their heads about past races or future races. Tibs is uniquely able to just focus on exactly what is going on that day. Even at practice, I don’t think he is thinking about the race, he thinks about practice. It is what makes him an exceptional runner.”

A former soccer player both at Northwest and outside of school, Proctor shifted his focus to running this past summer. While his recent State Championship sticks out as his most memorable athletic experience, he also notes his summer training with Club Northwest, an all-ages running club in Seattle.

“It’s a big part of me becoming a better runner,” Tibs said. That and his “special cereal” filled with almonds and other nutrients which he cites as a pre-race ritual.

Proctor moved to Seattle in sixth grade from Ethiopia. His younger brother, Tamire, a sophomore, is also a member of The Northwest School’s cross country team and Proctor’s top competition. Tam placed second at State this year and has been pushing his older brother the past two years in a friendly competition.

With a 3.8 GPA, Proctor has had to work to balance academics and athletics, a skill his coach attributes to his participation in cross country. 

“Freshman year, he was getting used to Northwest and he would miss a practice here and there because he had a lot of homework and we made sure to place school first,” Bisignano explained. “Sports have to fit into the larger picture. This year he didn’t need to miss any practice to stay caught up because he learned a lot about how to find that balance and get the work done.”

When asked why “Activities Matter,” both Tibs and Coach Bisignano mentioned the community that sports teams create. Tibs feels lucky to have found this community in the cross country team at The Northwest School.

“The team is really great, I enjoy every minute I spend with my team, my coach and running. The school environment is great, too. Everyone is nice and they cheer you on all the time,” Proctor said.

Proctor’s cross country season has continued into late November with the Nike BorderClash and in December, the Foot Locker Cross Country West Regional. 

Ella Van Troba

Ella Van Troba is a sophomore at Naches Valley High School. A hard-working and top-ranked swimmer, Van Troba is one of the WIAA’s Activities Matter Student Spotlights for the month of November.

The only swimmer on her high school team at Naches Valley, Van Troba trains and competes as part of a four-school co-op with Davis High School Head Coach, Carl Scott. She has competed at State the past two years, placing third in the 200 Yard Free (2014, 2015) and second in the 500 Yard Free (2014, 2015).

In two years, Van Troba has also garnered four district championships in her two events. Her district wins this year earned her WIAA Athlete of the Week honors after setting a 200 Free Yakima Valley record with a State 1A/2A best time of 1:56.54. She won the 500 Free in a State 1A/2A best time of 5:12.20.

Coach Scott admires Van Troba’s gift to preform when it counts.

“When she gets to big meets, it is wonderful to watch all her hard work pay off in big ways,” he said.

While Van Troba has only been competing at the high school level for two years, she has been swimming competitively year-round for the past 10 years. She competed this past summer on the senior sectional level, her first big national-level meet.

Being the only competitor to wear the Naches Valley Rangers’ uniform doesn’t hold her back. If anything, it inspires and pushes her.

“I really like being able to represent my school and the Naches community,” Van Troba said. “Swimming isn’t really a big thing here, and I think it is cool that I have the opportunity to help people notice the sport and see that it is equally as hard as the other sports.”

A straight-A honors student, Van Troba attributes her success in the classroom to her busy swim schedule.

“It (swimming) has really helped me with balance,” she said. “I’ve been a student-athlete since I was young. Being at the high school level, where you have harder classes, and I’m swimming at 4:30 in the morning, and then I have to go to school, it has really taught me the importance of hard work and balance and putting the important things first.”

Although it seems her life is jam-packed with swimming, Van Troba wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It is really important for everybody to have an outlet, regardless of what that is. Swimming has made me grounded as a person and I understand the value of hard work and discipline. Without it, my life would be very different.”

In addition to swimming, she regularly volunteers with her parents in her community at the local arboretum. Post-high school, Van Troba wants to continue to swim collegiately and as long as possible after that. She is also interested in pursuing a career in dentistry.



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November 2015

11/30/2015 November Student Spotlight

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