Wrestling has been a part of Gabby Miller’s life ever since she was four years old.
Ever since she decided to spar with her brother, Austin, during a Jamesburg recreation wrestling practice because there was nobody else available to wrestle with, Miller has dedicated herself to the sport of wrestling.
The sophomore wrestles all year, participating in the sport she loves for both the Monroe Township High School wrestling team and her club wrestling team, Elite Wrestling.
Last year, Miller made history at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s inaugural girls’ wrestling state tournament in Atlantic City, becoming first state champion in the 147-pound weight class.
Miller made history once again on Jan. 26 at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in the first ever Greater Middlesex Conference girls’ wrestling tournament, taking home gold in the 135-pound weight class for the Falcons.
“It feels great winning a conference championship,” Miller said. “It was great to compete with all the girls in the tournament. We have all worked so hard to keep this sport growing and to give ourselves more tournaments to wrestle in.”
It was a tough journey for Miller towards winning her first conference championship, having to battle back from suffering a left shoulder injury earlier in the season.
Coming back about two weeks before the conference tournament, Miller was able to get some matches and time on the mat to prepare for the tournament.
It was enough to help the sophomore roll to earning her first conference championship, pinning New Brunswick High School’s Karla Ruiz 56 seconds into the second period in the final.
Miller’s stellar performance in the tournament earned her the inaugural GMC Outstanding Wrestler award.
Crossing off a conference championship from her list, the sophomore will now look to avenge last year’s loss in the North Regional final and then go on to winning her second state championship.
The loss to North Bergen’s Amanda Pace in last year’s 147-pound North Regional final is the only loss Miller has in her high school career. Miller got revenge in the state finals, defeating Pace by a 6-3 decision to be crowned state champion.
One pace to record the triple-crown with a conference, regional and state championship this season, Miller wants that to be the case each year as she has set big goals for herself to achieve at the both the state and national level.
“I want to try to be the first four-time state girls wrestling champion,” Miller said. “I want to win a regional title and be a national champion. I’m going to work as hard as I can to win as many championships as possible.”
As she prepares for the NJSIAA North Regional tournament on Feb. 23, Miller will have benefit of training with her brother, who is also a member of the Monroe High School wrestling team.
Monroe is having a great winter, standing at 12-3 as the squad heads into the GMC tournament that will be held on Jan. 31-Feb.1 at Piscataway High School.
Miller has enjoyed her high school experience at Monroe and believes it has helped her become a better wrestler.
“It was definitely a little challenging at first making the move up to the high school level,” Miller said. “You have to learn different ways to beat people and get better with your technique. It taught me how hard you have to work to be a state champion.”
Miller and many Monroe hopefuls will strive to compete at the state tournament that will be held on March 5-7 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports