Carmen Luisi and Marcus Reilly are November Athletes of the Month

12/19/2019
 
 
December 15, 2019
 
Carmen Luisi of Holliston MA and Marcus Reilly of Northbridge MA are the USA Track & Field (USATF) New England association Athletes of the Month for November, 2019.  The two eighth graders, who compete in the USATF Youth Athletics age 13-14 division, had nearly identical performance records during the month.
 
Both were race winners at the Massachusetts Middle School Cross Country Championships on November 9; Reilly set a course record while Luisi was just one second off the girls' standard.  Each went on to convincing wins at the New England Junior Olympic Championships in Smithfield RI on November 17, and the following week at the USATF Region 1 Championship at Kings Park NY, Reilly placed first while Luisi was second in her event by less than a second.
 
Reilly chose not to advance to the USATF National Championships in early December; Luisi did compete in the meet, held in Madison Wisconsin on December 14, and placed third in the 13-14 division race which had 316 finishers.
 
Here are a few questions and answers with the honorees
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Marcus Reilly:
1. Could you describe your mindset heading into the Regional Junior Olympic XC meet?
MR - I was relaxed going into the race and tried not to think about the race too much until I started warming up. The conditions were really tough but I knew whoever could cope with them the best and grind it out would win. The competition was very challenging. I knew my friend Nathan Lopez and I would have a good duel as I only beat him by a second a week earlier. It was a really fun race and I enjoyed it a lot. 
 
2. How has your training changed to meet your needs?
MR - My training has been consistent throughout the year. I did more fartlek, tempos, and hills in the fall, usually running about 25 miles a week. I knew at the beginning of the year I had to get stronger over longer distances. I will do more speedwork during indoor and outdoor track. 
 
3. Who would you like to thank?
MR - There are lots of people that have helped me. I would like to thank my parents who believe in me and coach me. Also, my brother Dylan for running with me and supporting me and my youngest brother Luke for giving me high fives. My grandparents are also very supportive and are sometimes able to come see me race. My uncles and aunts and other family always support me. Coach Anne MacKay helped me when I ran for her team in the fall and Chris Vander Baan from Whitinsville Christian School has really supported me. I want to also thank all my friends I’ve met through running. 
 
4. What’s next?
MR - I hope to have a successful indoor season with lots of PRs. I have already ran two races in December, both PRs (‪1:59‬ - 800, ‪4:24‬ - mile). I am also aiming to defend my indoor mile title at the New Balance Indoor Nationals for Junior High School.
 
CarmenLuisi: 
1. Could you describe your mindset heading into the Regional Junior Olympic XC meet? 
CL - My mindset heading into the Regional Meet was calm, because I just wanted to do my best and PR.  I was aware of the other competitors in the race but I wanted to focus on myself and my performance rather than others.
 
2. How has your training changed to meet your needs? 
CL - My training has changed because of the distance of the 4k event in Junior Olympics compared to the distance of middle school meets that were usually 3k maximum. I needed to continue working on speed while increasing the distance.
 
3. Who would you like to thank?  
CL - Most importantly I would like to thank my family.  My mom played a very important role in helping me to achieve my goals, while my dad pushed me through all the hard workouts.  My sister Mia who made it to All-States as a long sprinter, helped me focus on improving my speed. Coach Vigue is a very important contributor to my success as well. He has supported my running journey throughout middle school.
 
4. What’s next? 
CL - I am thinking of running the New Balance Nationals in the Middle School Indoor Mile in March.   I am also looking forward to the upcoming outdoor track season and definitely high school cross country next year