Senior sprinter Gilbert reflects on her career at Georgia State

Gilbert runs on the track during practice. Photos by Dayne Francis | The Signal
Gilbert runs on the track during practice. Photos by Dayne Francis | The Signal
Gilbert runs on the track during practice.
Photos by Dayne Francis | The Signal

While the Georgia State track and field team sees another season, senior Ravin Gilbert is striving to make her last season with the team one for the books.

Gilbert is a native of Tampa, Florida where she attended Wesley Chapel High School. Before high school, Gilbert played soccer as well as basketball, but classified soccer as her first love. When Gilbert arrived at Wesley Chapel, she only had one friend who helped her get into track and field.

“One of my good friends, Jazzmyn Love Roberts,” Gilbert said. “We knew each other for a very long time, and when I went to high school, she was the only person that I knew. She introduced me to track.”

During her junior year in high school, Gilbert began to notice a change in her talents. She realized that she was beginning to run faster, and this caught the attention of several universities such as Georgia State and The University of South Florida. At this point, Gilbert knew this could be a way to pay for her college education and continue her passion in track.

Choosing the Panthers

Standing as a recruiting competitor for Georgia State, Gilbert was considering The University of South Florida. She was impressed with the school’s facilities and she had friends that were apart of the track and field team. However, after visiting Georgia State Gilbert knew it was the right university for her.

“I loved the atmosphere when I first visited Georgia State. The teammates were welcoming, the coaches and staff at the athletic facility were welcoming,” Gilbert said. “It was just positive energy. They set goals for me. They knew what they wanted with me, and they knew what I wanted to achieve while I was in college and they wanted to help me get there.”  

The positive energy, along with the set goals helped Gilbert make her final pick. Deciding to move away from home, Gilbert chose to join the Panther Family at Georgia State.

Gilbert’s weekends

Gilbert participates in both indoor and outdoor events while resulting as Georgia State’s most valuable outdoor performer. Gilbert runs the 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash and the 4×4-meter relay indoor whereas outdoor she runs the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 4×1-meter relay and 4×4-meter relay.

Along her journey to the current 2016 season, Gilbert recorded several personal best times and made school history. Last season, 2015, Gilbert won the Sun Belt 60-meter indoor title with a time of 7.48. This was the third-fastest in school history.

Gilbert continued to become the outdoor Sun Belt champion in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash with times 11.48 and 23.50, respectively. Both recorded the second-fastest times in school history. Also, Gilbert was a member of the 4×1-meter relay team that was crowned as champions with a time of 44.92. Finishing off the conference Gilbert was apart of the 4×4-meter relay that placed third with a time of 3:47.22.

The accomplishments Gilbert made during the 2015 season made Gilbert the Sun Belt Most Outstanding Track Performer totaling 24 points in the outdoor championship. This achievement is one of Gilbert’s most prized possessions. These honors made the conference matchup a memorable experience for Gilbert.

“The team energy was there,” Gilbert said. “Everybody was doing well. I won a few individual races as well as relay races. People noticed Georgia State at that time. They knew who we were, and I felt like we accomplished a lot between those two days we were there.”

Source of motivation

Throughout Gilbert’s successful career she has found solitude within her parents. Calling them every day and filling them in on her daily life, creates motivation for Gilbert.

“They know my downfalls, my frustrations, my strengths, my weaknesses,” Gilbert said. “They just bring positive energy towards me. I would say those two are my motivators.”

Recognizing these weaknesses made Gilbert fully aware of what she needs to improve on for the 2016 season. With her teammates, coaches, parents and two siblings behind her, Gilbert is positive that she can enhance her skill set and boost her chances to perform well in the championships.

“Me being comfortable, I’ve been hearing that a lot lately,” Gilbert said. “That I run like I’m comfortable, so I need to get out of my comfort zone when running. Second, I need to be quicker off the ground. I’ve learned that too.”

Gilbert stands as a role model for the younger team members. Being fully aware of this Gilbert strives to maintain a close relationship with her teammates at all times and also provides them advice when needed. Head track and field coach, Chris England, is confident in Gilbert’s ability to lead by example.

“Her accomplishments, personality, and big smile make it easy for others to yearn to follow her footsteps,” Coach England said.

Gilbert’s future

Looking forward into the 2016 season the team is already preparing for the Sun Belt indoor and outdoor championships and Gilbert plans to finish her senior year with new achievements. Not only does Gilbert have a goal to be a repeat champion in the Sun Belt, but she also wants to win the  conference as a team as well as go to nationals.

“To win the conference as a team,” Gilbert said. “That’s my number one goal. I’m not satisfied until I accomplish that goal.”

Not only does Gilbert display her athletic abilities, but she also lives up to the student aspect of the student-athlete title. Coach England recognizes Gilbert’s hard work in the classroom.

“In the classroom, this student-athlete carries a 3.50 GPA and earned Dean’s list honors multiple times,” Coach England said. “Ravin represents her track and field teammates on the Student-Athlete Advisory Counsel, and makes time to volunteer in many events throughout the community.”

Gilbert is currently majoring in sociology and after graduating plans to get her master’s degree in criminal justice. Uncertain about her career in track and field, Gilbert is considering continuing her journey as an athlete.