By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Northborough – Like many local kids, Anthony “Tony”?Fierimonte played soccer growing up. So when he was one of the last ones cut from the varsity team at Algonquin Regional High School at the start of his junior year several years ago, he was naturally very disappointed. But with encouragement from his parents, Andrea and Fernando, he decided to try a different sport – cross country. And ever since, this young man, who is now a junior at Assumption College, has achieved great success, including coming in 46th out of 12,000 runners-plus in the prestigious Falmouth Road Race.
His first year running cross country was a “good experience,” he said and taught him a lot about the sport. He actually did so well that he qualified for the State Championships.
“After that, I was inspired to work harder and really train,” he recalled. “It really helped me to improve.”
And improve he did. Not only did he lead the Algonquin team, he was named the 2010 cross country MVP. He also holds the school records for the mile (4:24.9) and 1,000 meters (2:36). As a result, Tony was awarded a partial cross country scholarship to Assumption where he is studying accounting.
“It's really a great school academically,” he noted. “The [cross country] team is fairly new but we'se made some strides. They are definitely rising.”
He is a big part of why the Greyhounds are becoming a team to watch. In his first year he was named the college's Male Freshman Athlete of the Year. His sophomore year brought more success including a 10:05.14 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at BSU Bears Invitational, placing first; 9:23.24 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at Northeast 10 Conference Championships, placing second; a personal record of 9:16.45 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at NEICAAA Outdoor Track Championship, placing sixth; and All-Region season in 2012, placing 24th at the NCAA East Regional.
Tony also credits his work with trainer Mike Roberts, who is based in West Boylston, with helping him to improve.
“We work on a combination of skills that have really helped me,” he praised. “He's an amazing man to work with.”
His father, Fernando, is also an inspiration as far as running goes, he said
“He has run Falmouth the last 9 or 10 years,” he said. “He's a really good runner. But both my parents are always encouraging me and are there for me.”
For his Falmouth run this year, Tony said he was very comfortable going into the race.
“The conditions were perfect and it was incredible being among all these elite runners,” he said. “But I just made myself take my time. I felt my pace was a good one and it paid off.”
There is more to life than track, he knows. As a high school student, Tony was an active participant in the St. Rose of Lima Parish's Young Neighbors in Action program. As such, he spent time with other teens helping to feed the hungry at rescue missions in Boston.
“It really opened my eyes to how some people have to live,” he said. “There's a lot to learn from these experiences, like don's judge – just be there for someone and take the time to listen to what they have to say.”
“It was a great experience and taught me about the importance of giving back,” he said. “I definitely hope to do something like that again, hopefully here in Worcester.”
To learn more about Tony and to follow the Greyhounds this season, visit http://www.assumptiongreyhounds.com/sports/track/index.