Award recipient runs, swims and acts her way to success

Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK — Jessica Fritsche received the year-end Scholar Athlete Artist award during the Dec. 7 Township Council meeting.

Jessica is a freshman at North Brunswick Township High School. She studies honors English, biology and geometry.

She just completed the cross-country season and was awarded a varsity letter. She competed at the Greater Middlesex Conference and also ran varsity from the Raider team at the state sectional meet.

For the past two years, Jessica competed in the One More Tri triathlon in Asbury Park in support of Special Olympics. She finished first in her age group both years in the events, which included a 5K run, a 12-mile bike race and an open water ocean swim.

Jessica has also competed for the past four years in the North Brunswick Memorial 5K Run/Walk, finishing top in her age group and medaling numerous times; the Milltown 4th of July Firecracker 5K; and the Rutgers Big Chill 5K in support of Toys for Tots, where she finished top in her age group and made it to the Runners Circle.

She has also competed in the East Brunswick Road Race 10K for the past two years and finished first in her age group. She has run in the South Brunswick One Mile Fun Run and 5K Run With the Vikings, receiving a trophy for first place.

Jessica has been swimming competitively since age eight and will join the North Brunswick Township High School Raider Swim Team this winter.

She swam for the Nob Valley Swim Club and received awards for the breaststroke, freestyle and butterfly. She also swam for the Brookside Swim Team and the Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services’ Rapids Swim Team, where the team finished first and second place in their division for the past two years, respectively.

Jessica has been swimming competitively for the Riptide Raritan Valley YMCA for the past four years. She was a top finisher for the breaststroke and competed in the bronze, silver and state championship meets.

She also has supported Meters for Mike by participating in the Open Water Ocean Swim in honor of former swimmer Mike Heaney, who died of a brain injury after being hit by a car while riding his bike.

Jessica is a student representative for the Student Government Organization and is a member of the Alchemists at the high school.

She followed in the footsteps of her grandfather, grandmother and father, who have been part of the North Brunswick Adult Drama Group, where she played Beilke in the last performance of “Fiddler on the Roof.” She was part of the Linwood Middle School Drama Group for three years and the North Brunswick Young Adult Drama Group for two years.

Jessica is a parishioner at Our Lady of Peace Church where she volunteers as a teacher’s assistant for the CCD program. She was scheduled to be a lector for her first Mass on Dec. 19.

“I’d like to thank the council, Mayor [Francis “Mac”] Womack and Lou Ann Benson [director of the Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services] for making it possible for me to receive this award,” Jessica said.

“I’d like to thank my parents for driving me to every race and for paying for all of the new spikes and all the new equipment I needed for all the sports I participate in.”