Amanda Merigo Found Her Place in Tri-County Track

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Tri-County senior Amanda Merigo had never even thought about running track prior to her high school experience; now she’s a record-setting captain for the school team and at the top of her game.
Issue Date: 
July, 2018
Article Body: 

Prior to coming to Tri-County, North Attleboro resident Amanda Merigo had never run track in her life, nor had she ever thought about taking part in the sport. However, when she got to the Regional Vocational Technical High School, she made friends with senior captain Emily Spillane, who introduced her to the sport, and she has been running ever since.
The then freshman didn’t find things all that easy, but hung with the program and four years later, she is the captain of the team and finds her name amongst the top of the school’s record books.
“It was a lot of hard work, and practices not only get repetitive, but boring,” the senior said. “Once you start participating in the meets, it’s very different. I am very passionate about my running; it’s a team sport, but it is also individual.”
Individually on the track, Merigo finds her name in the Tri-County record books more than once. As a sophomore she anchored the 4 x 400 relay team that broke the record for the first time and then once again this past year with a time of 4:31. She also set the 800 last year and then again this year, with a 2:26 time and etched her name in the 200 this year running a 26.7. Merigo was also named the Tri County senior athlete of the year for her final campaign.
“It’s cool to have made a name for myself,” she said. “It gives the underclassmen something to shoot for, although I’m hoping that the records are mine for awhile.”
Entering Tri County her first year, the then freshman ran the 200 and did some high jumping, but the following year she was moved to middle distance running.
“She was originally a sprinter, but we saw some grit in her and moved her to distance running,” TC Coach Seth Curran said. “She ran those middle-distance races, as she recognized that it helped the team out. That’s the type of individual she is – she undertakes a challenging task and learns what needs to be done to be successful, individually as well as team wise.”
Merigo believes she was moved to middle distance running because of her freshman year.
“As a freshman, the Coach put me in the 4 x 800 relay and after doing well in it, he thought that I was much better suited for middle distance running (800 and 4 x 400) than sprinting, although I still continue to run the 200.”
Through four years of outdoor track, Merigo found that she liked both. It was in the final season that she finally came to grips and accepted that she was more of a middle-distance runner.
Although a successful 800-meter runner the North Attleboro native finds it a much more challenging race than sprinting and running the anchor of the 4 x 400 relay.
“It’s probably one of the hardest races because of the way you run over that half mile,” Merigo said. “It’s a distance race, but you need to keep a sprinting pace the entire race. It’s a lot of work, but if you prepare yourself properly it can be a lot of run and very rewarding.”
Given the opportunity to be a captain, Merigo was thrilled and knew that it was a different type of experience having already been a captain for the past two years on the soccer team.
Before her high school career comes to an end, the now graduated senior will take part in one last event – the heptathlon, a two-day track and field contest made up of seven events. Day one consists of the 100 meter hurdles, the high jump, the shot put and the 200-meter run, while day two consists of the long jump, the javelin throw and the 800-meter run.
Having participated in the heptathlon for all four years of her high school career Merigo enjoys talking part in the two-day contest.
“I consider myself to be a versatile athlete, and this allows me to try out a few events that I normally wouldn’t get to do during a regular meet,” she said. “I really enjoy it and find it to be one of my favorite parts of track.”
Merigo finished the heptathlon in 14th place overall with 3132 pts., which not only included two top ten finishes (fifth in the 200 and fourth in the 800), but was high enough to put her name on the top of yet another Tri County school record.
Looking back to Merigo as a freshman, Curran said he saw that she was raw, but had the potential, she just needed to find her place. The TC graduate has definitely done that, having taken part in the State Tournament in the 200, the 4 x 4 relay and the 800, while etching her name in the school record books numerous times and participating in the heptathlon for all four years at the school.