This week’s Scholar Athlete of the Week is Marisa Mazzacco. Marisa is a captain on the varsity indoor track team, and also participates in outdoor track and field. Marisa mostly competes in the long jump and triple jump, but also runs events up to 400 meters. Marisa has always enjoyed running, and in middle school her coach recommended that she try cross country. This led Marisa to join the track team, and she has now been on the varsity team for six years. To prepare for her season, Marisa lifts weights and runs by herself four to five times a week. Marisa’s favorite part about her sport is all of the friends she has made throughout the years. Marisa noted that they truly make track the best sport. For Marisa, “The hardest part of track is working through the mental barrier of running as fast as you can and not giving-in to the urge to slow down.” Marisa also commented that when she is preparing to jump, she is alone on the runway. Marisa has to maintain her confidence as she begins to run down the runway, and if she lets the pressure get to her head she does not perform as well. Marisa has managed to become top 25 in the state for both long jump and triple jump, and competed at Nike Nationals for triple jump. Last year, Marisa injured her ankle, but is particularly proud of winning State Qualifiers even with her injury. This competition gave Marisa the motivation she needed to continue pushing through her injury. This year, Marisa hopes to break the school record for both triple jump and high jump. Marisa also hopes to compete in the state and national competition.
In addition to her athletic success, Marisa excels academically. Marisa has a 4.0 GPA while taking a difficult course load, including Advanced Placement Language and Composition. Marisa has also managed to place on the high honor roll every quarter in her high school career. To balance school and sports, Marisa often wakes up early to finish any work before the school day. Marisa will also create a schedule for her week to ensure she finishes everything she needs to do and practices enough. Marisa is also a member of the National Honor Society, and outside of school Marisa plays violin in the Empire State Repertory Orchestra.
Coach Gobel has been Marisa’s biggest motivator throughout her athletic career. All of Marisa’s athletic accomplishments were thanks to her coach’s motivation, and Marisa noted that Coach Gobel has helped her grow her confidence. Marisa’s teammates also help push her to do her best. Marisa tries hard in every meet because she doesn’t want to let down her teammates. Marisa would advise a younger athlete that, “No matter what, do not give up if it starts becoming hard. Even on difficult workout days you need to give it your all.” Next year,
Marisa plans on going to college for astronomy or astrophysics. Marisa also plans on continuing her track career in college.