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Multifaceted Ganes Looks to Capture 7th ACC Title

So, if the theory holds true, Joy Ganes, a star high jumper for North Carolina, is also good -- very good, in fact.

The highlights of Ganes' collegiate jumping career appear on the right hand column of Page 15 in UNC's 2001 track and field media guide. No, it's not a short story, and no, it's not her memoir.

It just looks that way.

It begins: Joy Ganes, a 6-foot senior from Bay Shore, N.Y. Her personal record in the high jump is 6-1/2, the fourth best ever by a female UNC competitor.

It tells of her six indoor and outdoor ACC titles, her five All-America honors, her yearly appearances at nationals and her showing at the USA Indoor Championships.

It also tells of her victories at the Penn Relays, the Gatorade Twilight Meet, the Carolina Classic and both the USCTFS meets in Chapel Hill. And those were just in the year 2000 alone.

"When I'm jumping, it's probably one of the most serious times in my life," Ganes said. "I'm not very serious with most things, but when I jump I try to take it very seriously."

But despite all of her success, Ganes seemed a bit hesitant to speak about herself. Maybe it was the fatigue from competing only minutes before in an event she won but claimed to have jumped "very badly" in. Or maybe it's the simple fact that she's modest.

She doesn't gloat about the accomplishments listed in UNC's media guide. Nor does she boast about her accomplishments not listed there.

She doesn't like to talk about Ganes the politician, Ganes the activist or Ganes the honor roll student. Instead, she calls herself "indecisive," a "volunteer," a person who hates to quit something she's started.

"In so many ways she's a Renaissance woman, a superwoman who does so many things and does them all well," said Rachael Cooper, Ganes' friend of four years who graduated from UNC in December and lives in Chapel Hill. "I wouldn't put any limit or bounds on what she's capable of. She's got that fire inside her, that light."

But beneath the modesty lies confidence: confidence in her academic ability, confidence in her professional ability, confidence in her athletic ability. While some might feel pressured to win their seventh ACC title at this weekend's conference championship in Orlando, Fla., Ganes just smiled and said, "I love competing."

But Ganes is as multidimensional as a Swiss Army Knife. She plays the piano and the xylophone. She has been active in Young Democrats, the Black Student Movement and Student Congress, where she was the representative for

District 14.

"I'm all over the place," Ganes said. "I can never tell what I'm going to do next. But I do have a specific plan that I know what I want to get done. Right now, I just want to explore things because there's so much stuff that interests me."

Her interests, another of the media guide's lacking subjects. Ganes is more than a high jumper and a bunch of statistics. She's a confidante, a friend, a comforter, a motivator. And as hard as it is, she also tries to be a regular student

"I'll go to sleep so early," Ganes said. "I just think I'm getting old. I used to go out, but now around 12:30 I watch my 'Golden Girls,' maybe one or two other shows, and I'm in bed by 1 a.m. on any given night."

She's been accepted to both Duke and Columbia's law schools and was waitlisted for UNC's. She wants to be a sports and entertainment lawyer, but said for that field, "It's more who you know than what you know."

Ganes used to tell UNC coach Dennis Craddock that she's going to be the president of the United States one day. But whether it's the presidency or a lesser office, a position within the government is almost certain; she wants to hold a public post by the age of 50.

"I wouldn't be surprised if I get a call one of these days from somebody saying Joy Ganes is running for mayor or something," Craddock said. "Actually, let me rephrase that -- I'm expecting that call."

Who knows how high Ganes can go? She's already cleared 6 1/2. And if the media guide is any indication, whatever her future holds is sure to be amazing.

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