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Brandi Probasco-Canda
[2003]

School: Benson

Sport Played: Track and Field

High School Honors: 9-time PIL and 11-time State Champion while earning 4 letters in Track & Field. 3-time Champion at 400m and on both the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams that swept four State Championships, setting State records in both relays her Senior year. She ran the second fastest 400m in state history as a Junior at 54.01. Her teams were PIL and State Champions all 4 years.

Post High School Career: 4 Track letters at Washington State University while earning a degree in clinical psychology. Received her Master's Degree from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Los Angeles branch) with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy. She was inducted into the Benson Hall of Fame in 2014. Presently serves as an Outpatient Clinician for Enki Health and Research Systems, Inc. in east Los Angeles.

Commentary:

God blessed me with the love and support of my family, dedicated coaches, and competitive teammates; they helped me succeed. Their selfless efforts and commitment to me helped developed my passion for Track & Field, realize the power of teamwork, and pushed me to work harder to surpass my goals.

Perseverance was the word given to me by my childhood coach Derrell Walker during my first Junior Olympics Track Meet when I was nine years old. Since then, perseverance continues to be a foundation that I utilize to this day.

I learned early on in my track career that if you want to be a great athlete you must be God fearing, fearlessly driven, motivated, adaptable and want to succeed. With the help of Coach Leon McKenzie, I recall spending countless hours perfecting my skills to become a well-rounded athlete. With the help of Coach John Mays, I recall learning to push myself to work harder than I thought was possible to become an even better competitor. With the help of Coach Dominique Merriweather, I learned to trust myself, my efforts and my ability to win. I worked to create a mindset that promoted humbleness, discipline, effective time-management skills and sacrifice. I understood what it took to be an outstanding athlete. Throughout my life, I will continue to implement the skills that I've been blessed with to think intuitively, trust my gifts and level of understanding and apply it to the challenges ahead.

As I reflect on my accomplishments as an athlete, the main thing that stands out to me is that my mindset was the key factor in my performance success. It was necessary for me to develop my mind in a way in which I could learn how to cope with disappointments and celebrate victories in a reflective manner, whether I won or lost, it was important for me to note the positives and the negatives of every outcome in efforts to continue to prevail.

To me, competition itself is a mind game, and the athlete who wins is one that has prepared spiritually, mentally and physically. As an athlete, you are only as good as how you've trained your mind and your body. But Faith in God is what's necessary for you to exceedingly perform and demand of yourself efforts which may lead you to going where you've never gone before. Persevere!

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