If you were to brainstorm powerhouse sports at the high school, sports where you expect the Raiders to compete for state titles, cross-country might not be the first one that comes to mind.
Perhaps that is why Thomas D’Anieri ’16 has flown a bit under the radar as far as state champion athletes are concerned. D’Anieri clinched the state cross-country title with a course record time of 15:16 on the 3.1 mile course. With his name firmly planted in the record books, it was certainly a season to remember for D’Anieri.
“I think what I’m most proud of is that I was able to beat other runners who had beaten me in the regular season. They got me then, but I was able to beat them when it counted the most,” said D’Anieri.
Becoming a state champion runner does happen overnight, and for D’Anieri, it was years in the making. “My mom ran track in college, so when I was in sixth grade I joined the Needham Youth Track league, I had some success in those events and that inspired me to continue running,” said D’Anieri.
“Cross-country and track were pretty much the only sports offered to us at the middle school, so I was pretty much forced into it, but looking back I’m very glad I was,” added D’Anieri.
As far as more recent training, D’Anieri ran 70-80 miles per week throughout the summer and ran cross-country or track every season since freshman year.
“I worked very hard in training all summer and fall, when I was coming up that final hill at states, I knew all my training had prepared me for this moment, said D’Anieri.
D’Anieri served as captain this season and did everything he could to lead his team. He worked as hard he could to find success both individually and for his team.
“Thomas D’Anieri epitomizes what it means to be a team captain. Hard-working, dedicated, selfless, and most importantly, always looking out for his teammates. While most kids would like to be state champs, Thomas backed it up and did all the work that it takes to make that dream become a reality. He showed every Wellesley xc member that big goals can be accomplished if you work hard do all the little things right,” said coach Tim Broe.
(Peter Santo ’16, Sports Editor)