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East County Thu May 14, 2009 5 years ago

Athlete of the Week: Marco Rometo

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by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

SARASOTA — Senior Marco Rometo’s final race at The-Out-of-Door Academy didn’t quite go as planned.

As one of the favorites heading into the Class 1A state finals May 1, the boys 1,600-meter relay team had high aspirations, but an unexpected miscue cost the team a medal.

But the state meet wasn’t a complete loss for Rometo, who earned two medals, including third place in the 800-meter dash with a personal best time of 1:59.30 and eighth place in the 3,200-meter relay with a time of 8:29.92.

“I was happy with how I did, but it was a little bittersweet,” Rometo said. “I ran my fastest time in all of my events, but with the 4x400 being my last high school race … it just didn’t turn out the way I expected.”

Rometo’s performance not only earned him two medals, but also it caught the attention of coaches at the University of South Carolina. On May 5, Rometo was asked to join the Gamecocks track team.

“It was exciting because I didn’t think I had a shot at running for that big of a school — at least not initially,” Rometo said. “He told me I was going to have to over-commit to do well there, but I’m up to the challenge.”

After spending his first two years playing tennis, Rometo decided to join the Thunder track team last year. He split his time between track and tennis before deciding to forego tennis this season.

“I figured it wasn’t fair to either sport if I decided to do both,” Rometo said. “I learned last year that you end up struggling in both rather than succeeding in one.”

Contact Jen Blanco at jblanco@yourobserver.com.

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