Jackson Terenzi, Hopedale Track

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
photo by  Steve Bassignani
Issue Date: 
February, 2020
Article Body: 

It was around second or third grade when Hopedale’s Jackson Terenzi decided to join his grandfather and went for a run with him. Little did he know that small gesture would turn into a big deal.
“My grandpa was a runner and he’s the one who actually got me into it,” Terenzi said. “I went for a run with him and was immediately hooked. I couldn’t wait to be able to run competitively after that day.”
Since that day the Hopedale resident tried playing soccer and basketball but just didn’t get the rush he got from running. Running just seemed to click with him and he was looking forward to the competition of racing people.
When seventh grade came he was more than ecstatic, not because of school starting, but because he’d be able to finally join a team.
“It was an exciting time. I’ve meet a lot of great friends through the cross country and track teams,” he said. “I looked up to the juniors and seniors who helped to inspire me and now as a junior its role reversal I’m trying to lead by example.”
The now junior runs both indoor and outdoor track while also participating in cross country for the Blue Raiders, but it’s the fall running he enjoys the most.
“I seem to find cross country more enjoyable,” Terenzi said. “Every meet is a different course, while a track is always a track.”
During his first season on the cross country team Terenzi did alright for a seventh grader, but he still had a lot to learn about the sport of running.
“You have to learn how to pace yourself and at that age all I wanted to do was run out quick and keep going, but you eventually run out of gas.” he said. “Through experience you learn that you cannot do that and must pace yourself. It probably took me a while but I actually figured it out.”
So much that by his second years on the team Terenzi saw his times improving and his running ability helped the team go onto win the Dual Valley Conference and finish out the year with only one loss.
When he first started running track his mile time was originally around the 6 minute mark this year he has decreased his time to a personal record of 4:53, a full 14 seconds off his best time from a year ago.
“Jackson has significantly lowered his mile time and had taken six seconds of his 2-mile time,” Hopedale Track Coach Sarah Rafferety said. “While that time may not seem like a lot, in track it is and shows he did a lot of hard work in the off season to improve so quickly.”
Terenzi said he did work extremely hard to get to that time so early in the season. While he was increasing his training he also changed his diet and began to eat healthier and cleaner and began to do a lot of longer runs and endurance training.
Terenzi is hoping that all his hard work and determination allows him to continue to decrease his times, especially in the mile where he would like to be at around 4:50 and as low as 4:40. In the 2-mile he would like go get his time sub 11 minutes. In addition to lowering his personal times he would also like to contribute tot eh team in any way he can so that that can do well in the districts, where he has already qualified for the 600, mile and 2-mile.
“He has been an important part of the track teams since seventh grade and was a top 4 runner on the cross country team this past season,” Rafferety said. “We also expect him to be a key runner on out 4 x 800 relay team, where we’re looking at success at the Districts as well as the States.”
Although only a junior and college is on the horizon, Terenzi has thought about running for a collegiate team, but right now it’s too early for him to think about. However, his cross country coach is already thinking about it.
“In my opinion, he’s a very strong athlete that knows how to run and compete. I think that he’ll do well in college,” Hopedale Coach Joe Drugan said. “He’s got incredible drive and is having himself a breakout year, I’m proud to be coaching he and if he has no injuries he’s going to go somewhere.”
While the Hopedale coaching staff believes in Terenzi’s future, the junior is keeping things simple and just trying to put forth his best performance on the track and help his team into the District and State Tournaments. He’ll worry about college at a later time.