Get Started

January 08, 2024

Certo Named Athlete of Week

Record-setting track star and three-time Most Valuable Runner Gina Certo has been named North Jersey Female Athlete of the Week. While this Academy of the Holy Angels junior has broken and re-set several records, Certo said being named Athlete of the Week is her greatest athletic accomplishment.


“This honor feels so very special and exciting,” the Wyckoff resident said. “It has been one of my goals, and my hard work and dedication have greatly paid off. I could not have done this without my team and coaches (including Head Coach Howard Schuman) pushing me to be better every single day.”


Certo, who was dubbed “The Fastest Girl in Bergen County,” is also the third fastest girl in New Jersey, and the 38th fastest in the nation (400 Meters). She won the Bergen County Varsity Outdoor title in the 200 and 400 Meters, and holds multiple county records, including #3 BC Girls Indoor 400 Meter (56:84), #6 Outdoor 400 Meter (55:73), and #10 Outdoor 200 Meter (24:81).

Gina Certo


In 2023, she became AHA’s first state track champ in the Academy’s 144-year history when her time of 57:69 in the 400 Meters earned her the NJ Group Indoor title. She is also the reigning NJ State Champion (Group Outdoor) in the 400 Meters with her time of 56:04. She brought home a Penn Relays Wheel for winning the 4 x 400 Meter Relay Heat in 4:07:74 minutes, and earned a citation from her state senator.


Most recently, Certo won the 55 Meter and 200 Meter races at the Spiked Shoe Meet.


“Gina is easy to rave about because she’s a great kid,” AHA Athletic Director Jessica Hogan shared. “She’s hardworking and she has a dedication and passion for track that’s highly commendable. I’m excited to see what she brings to the program and her continued success through the spring season and into her senior year.”


Certo’s work ethic and inspirational attitude helped her earn the Soccer Coach’s Award and AHA’s Sister Catherine Green Kindness Award. She also received the John Spreen Award for Academics and Athletics and the John Orr Physical Education Award for Outstanding Achievement.


In 2023, she made First Team All-Bergen County in both the 55 Meters and the 400 Meters and First Team All North Jersey in the 400 Meters and the 200 Meters. She was also named to both’s First Team Non-Public-A Girls All-State indoor AND outdoor track and field teams in the 400 Meters.


Last spring, she finished first in four Bergen County events and two North Jersey Sophomore Championships. She also finished third in the 400 Meters in the Eastern States Championship.


During the 2021-22 season, she set five AHA records, including the 55 Meter Indoor (7.26), 400 Meter Indoor (56:84), 100 Meter Outdoor (12:24), 200 Meter Outdoor (24:81), and the 400 Meter Outdoor (55:73). She was named Second Team All-Bergen County Outdoor Track & Field – 200 Meters, First Team All-Big North Conference Outdoor Track & Field – 4 x 400 Meters, and Second Team All-Big North Conference Outdoor Track & Field – 200 Meters. She finished first at the Bergen County Frosh Girls Championships 200 Meters, the Bergen County Novice Meet – 100 Meters, the Metropolitan Invitational Frosh Girls – 55 Meters, and the Spike Shoe Holiday Festival Frosh Girls – 55 Meters.

Gina Certo in action.


Asked about her goals for the future, Certo shared that she aspires to be accepted to a well-regarded college where she can further her passion for track and academics. She also strives to remain healthy and motivated.


“I do find that having success in my athletics has helped and touched many aspects of my life,” she said, underscoring the importance of managing her time so she is able to train and compete, complete homework assignments, prepare for the next day, and spend time with her family. She also carves out time to volunteer within her community.


“Another aspect of my life that this has taught me is staying healthy and fueling my body properly and efficiently,” Certo added. “Track especially has helped me not be afraid to advocate for myself. For example, when we go to meets and something is mixed up or changed, I open my mouth and ask right away. My athletics also helped me find who I am as a person and opened my competitiveness toward wanting more and more.”


Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from many cultural and religious backgrounds. AHA’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.