Despite having joined Andover Boys Cross Country just last year, Captain Giacomo Marino ’18 has proven himself to be a force both on and off the trails. As a Junior, he joined the indoor track team in the winter and continued to compete in track and field in the spring.
Though he didn’t originally come to Andover as a runner, Marino cites John Gordon ’15, his indoor track team captain, as his inspiration for continuing with running.
Marino said, “My indoor track captain my [Junior] year, John Gordon… got me into running and I admired him a lot… I think he was kind of the reason I did outdoor [track] and stuck with running, so he’s probably one of the biggest inspirations for me.”
According to Head Coach Jeff Domina, Marino compensates for his later introduction to the sport with a rigorous training regimen and his ability to reach his goals.
Domina said, “He is one of our very top runners. He trains incredibly hard and races so well.”
Marino said, “[I love running because] it helps me think. It helps me sort out things and get through tough times, so that’s why I love running. It is also because of the people. I love the people on the team. I love the guys I run with.”
As the captain of the team, Marino leads by example during practice and workouts, and constantly encourages his teammates to be the best runners they can be, according to Coach Domina.
Domina said, “He primarily encourages his teammates by example with what he brings to his own training, to our workouts as a team, to his races, and also his attention to the work of the other kids. He notes other kids who do a great job on a run or in a workout, and he says something about it. He is verbally supportive and, again, not just for the Varsity kids, but for the other kids who are just beginning to make their way in the sport.”
Jack O’Neil ’19 said, “If it is a tough meet or a tough practice, he is really good about getting the team through that.”
After Andover finished seventh in 2015 and lost many of its best runners that year, the team managed to clinch second place at Interschols last year.
“I think it was really cool to see different people step up and really fill the gaps of the people who had left. We lost two really strong runners who weren’t Seniors from the previous year, so I think probably coming in second that race and seeing everyone’s hard work pay off was really awesome,” said Marino.
Marino is a strong captain because of his ability to connect with people, no matter their running level, according to Domina.
“I think his strengths are his work ethic, his attentiveness to his fellow runners, and his ability to motivate them to do their best — individually and as members of the team,” said Domina.
Marino said, “I try to pass on that running is tough a lot of the time, and sometimes it can feel like, if you get injured or if you’re not having a good race, that it is not paying off… If you stick with it, you will see the improvement and that you will eventually be successful. Even if you’re not the fastest guy on the team, you will see that you are improving.”
This season, Marino hopes to be an effective leader for the beginner runners and JV athletes while also inspiring his teammates and fostering an overall love for running.
Marino said, “My goal as a captain is to be a leader to everyone on the team. Our JV and Varsity guys practice together, and this season I want to try to continue to get to know everyone, make sure that everyone is involved, and do what I can to inspire and get everyone to love cross country as much as I do.”