Meet the Highly Competitive Gable Triples of Northwestern Regional 7. From the June edition of the LCS Magazine.
By, JOHN TORSIELLO
Saturday, May 20 was a typical day in the Gable household, a morning and afternoon that would be filled with running, jumping and whacking a ball, and then returning to their Torrington home for reflection and celebration of the day’s events.
Aaron and Carley were competing for Northwestern Regional 7 at the Berkshire League Track and Field Championships at Litchfield’s Plumb Hill Athletic Complex, while Ryan was taking part in the Berkshire League tennis tournament. And dad, Jerry, was trying to keep tabs on everything that was going on with his triplets. Yes, that’s right, the Gable siblings are three of a kind and all have attained a high level of success, both in athletics and in classroom.
The Gables have lived in Torrington for 10 years and the children applied to area high schools in the eighth grade, winning acceptance at Torrington, Wamogo, Oliver Wolcott and Northwestern. Said Jerry Gable, “We chose Northwestern because it gave the kids the best combination of both academics and athletics. Northwestern has been voted one of the top 30 high schools in Connecticut for each of the past five years. We visited all four schools many times and the kids had the best feel and comfort with Northwestern, and obviously we made the right decision based on their success.”
He continued, “It has been a lot of fun and a tremendous journey watching the three of them grow up,” said proud papa Gable. “From the awkwardness of being kids running around, sometimes not even knowing what they are doing, to where they are at today, playing varsity sports at Northwestern. I am most proud of the hard work and extra effort they put in and the respect they have for sports and how they are respected by their coaches and their teammates. They are always willing to help the coaches out with training the underclassmen and giving tips and guidance as well as support. Again, something you can't teach, it has to come from within.”
They may have entered the world at the same relative time, are 17-year-old juniors), which makes them tight as siblings can be, the Gable triplets are always trying to one up the other..
“That’s an understatement,” said Jerry Gable when asked if his children were competitive with one another. “They are competitive in everything, from academics and athletics to just playing games with their friends. It's this competitiveness that gives them the edge on both the track, court and classroom.”
Of course, there is a strong bond between the Gable children. Said their father, “Though they might want to always have an edge on one another in whatever they do, there is an internal love for each other to succeed. I thought I was their biggest supporter but it is them for each other. It’s something that they might not truly see today for themselves, but years from now when they have their own families and are teaching their kids they will remember these days and the bond they have.”
Jerry Gable has been involved with sports throughout his life, and played college basketball for four years at DeSales University in Pennsylvania. He says the life lessons he learned from sports remain with him today, such as leadership, teamwork, respect for elders and peers (coaches and teammates), and how to handle success and failure, to name just a few. “Also, the friendships and bonds that are made with teammates cannot be measured. I thought it best to get the kids involved in little league, basketball, and soccer as early as age five. As they got older, they are the ones who made the choice of what sports they wanted to play with no pressure from me.”
Jerry Gable said he knew his children enjoyed sports because he “could see it in their eyes when they were on the field or on the court.” He added, “They had the heart, determination and will to succeed. They also would play outside all day long with their friends from the neighborhood in Torringford Farms in Torrington, and would not be inside watching television or playing video games. It didn't matter what it was, basketball, football, baseball, tennis, Frisbee tag, volleyball, these group of kids have been playing together since third grade and most of them play varsity sports at area high schools.”
Carley is a Scholar Athlete Award winner (maintaining an 88 or above average in all subjects) in 2016 and 2017. She received Leadership, Dedication and Academic Excellence awards in 2017 in the Regional 7 Agricultural Education Program. She is a three-time team MVP winner in varsity winter and spring track in 2016 and 2017, and a multiple medal winner (gold, silver and bronze ) in 2016 and 2017 at the Berkshire League Championships. She was All-Berkshire League in 2016 and 2017 for track and field, and competed in the state track and field invitationals in 2016 and 2017. She also plays soccer.
Aaron has been a Scholar Athlete Award winner all three years in high school (2015, 2016, 2017), was voted the Best Newcomer in winter track and field in 2016, received the Sportsmanship Award for varsity winter track this year, was a multiple medal winner (gold, silver and bronze ) at this year’s Berkshire League Championships, is All-Berkshire League this year, and competed in the state track and field competitions in 2016 and this year.
Ryan is also an exceptional student, receiving a Scholar Athlete Award this year and being recognized with the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in the Northwestern Agricultural Program in 2016 and again this year. He is a varsity letter winner 2016 for doubles in tennis, and a varsity letter winner this year for singles. He served as team manager, statistician and announcer for the boys varsity basketball team in 2016 and 2017.
Carley said the triplets share a common bond. “Although we are all competitive, we have an inner want for the others to do well and succeed in both academics and athletics.” Offered Ryan, “We push each other to work hard and not take any shortcuts.” And Aaron said, “We want one another to learn from our mistakes and get better each time out.”
Carley and Aaron talk about track strategy during the week in preparation for the next meet, as well their performances.
Said Carley, “We are always trying to improve on times or distances. Our father always quotes to us `What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.’ So, if we keep coming in the same position or distance and keep preparing the same, the same result will happen. He taught us to always think outside the box and challenge ourselves and do something different.”
Aaron concurred, “Carley and I talk strategy before each meet. We try to remind each other to stretch enough, put our sweats back on after each event to keep our muscles warm, and most important to get our minds right. You can't think about the previous event we just did or the one later in the day. We each do four events, so we have to concentrate on the event that is taking place otherwise we lose focus.”
Ryan said that even though he plays tennis in the spring and does not compete with his siblings in track and field, Carley and Aaron push him to run and lift weights and get in the best possible shape.
“Sometimes they watch my practice or tennis match and make suggestions on what I am doing wrong or could do better and I laugh because they are not very good at tennis. But I respect their opinions as athletes and siblings and more times than not they were right. Like I wasn't turning my hips enough to get power on my forehand or backhand, or wasn't getting enough height on my serve toss.”
As for that Gable competitiveness, Carley said the triplets go at one another so intensely that “sometimes that we get on each others nerves.” She added, “However, at the end of the day we know we are `Team Gable’ and have an advantage of having three teenagers in the same household to help each other with sports, academics, and social issues.”
Ryan offered, “We are always teasing each other and making fun like teenagers do. Things we say or do or wear, we are always teasing on. But when it comes down to it, we are family and only want the best for all of us.”
“We are competitive in all we do,” said Ryan, “academics, athletics, school, what we do or say. I guess that's what gives us the edge on the track or court. Not only do we push each other to succeed, but this competitiveness helps push us every day in all we do. If we can handle each other we can handle anything else the day brings on. “
Carley said the siblings have a lot of fun being triplets “We share a lot of friends that we met individually at first, then we all became friends. We don't get a lot of attention because of it because people always say we are different in looks and personalities. There’s pressure sometimes but it helps to go through school, sports and other issues knowing you can always talk to your brother or sister at home about whatever.”
Ryan said that it’s fun being part of triplets “but crazy sometimes.” He added, “We have different friends, different sports, different events. We don’t draw too much attention, but the kids at school know we are the only triplets in the school and sometimes the only ones they have ever met, so it is kind of cool. I wouldn’t say there is pressure on us, because we are all individuals trying to do well in school and in sports and we can count on each other to help in whatever comes up.”
Aaron enjoys being part of the Three Gables. “We have lots of fun making fun of each other but we mean no harm. I think because we are so different from each other , we don't get the same attention as if we were identical in looks and personalities. As far as the pressure, we are harder on ourselves than other people are, so the pressure comes from within. We can handle it.”
As for their best moments in sports thus far, Carley said winning medals at the Berkshire Leagues Championships in 2016 and this year and getting invited to the Connecticut state meets. “Also, when my coach Mr. (Andy) Campbell gave me a high five at the Connecticut state Class M Championships.” For Ryan it was playing in the Connecticut states tournament in doubles last year and winning his first singles match this year against Thomaston. And Aaron said jumping 19-feet, 5-inches (a personal best ) in the long jump at the New Haven High School Invitational last winter, and winning four medals (two golds, a silver and a bronze ) at this year’s Berkshire League Championships have been highlights.
All three are looking ahead to the next level.
“I know time goes fast in high school and college,” said Carley, “so if I could continue my sports career and have more fun and meet more people that way, I want to take advantage of it. I learned a lot through sports in my life already and met a lot of great people, friends and coaches, so why not continue? I am interested in all the Connecticut colleges and universities, as well as Rutgers in New Jersey, Bucknell in Pennsylvania, Bryant in Rhode Island, and Boston College or Northeastern in Massachusetts.” She wants to stay on the East Coast and pursue a career in physical therapy.
Said Ryan, “Like Carley, I have met some great friends and coaches playing tennis and would love to continue that through college. I want to study communications in college and pursue a career in sports broadcasting or video production. Like Carley, I’m interested in all the Connecticut colleges and universities. Also, I have an interest in Syracuse in New York and Monmouth in New Jersey, and Emerson in Massachusetts.”
Aaron hopes to study engineering in school, so his interest right now are engineering schools that have a good track program. “Like Carley and Ryan, I’m interested in UConn and the other Connecticut colleges and universities, as well as the strong engineering schools, like Lehigh in Pennsylvania, Purdue in Indiana, Cal Berkeley in California, and the University of Maryland to name a few.”
Who knows, wouldn’t it be something if the triplets wound up at the same college? They have done so well pushing one another to success at the high school level, doing the same in college would simply come natural for them. And be a lot of fun.