Mike Mazzaccaro, Christian Brothers Academy NJ, won his state group 1600 in 4:09.53. He then finished 3rd in the MOC 3200 with a time of 9:02.46 behind the 8:46.08 of Jeramy Elkhaim and the 8:48.55 of Joe Rosa. The scary thing is all three are juniors! Read more about Mike below...
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MileSplit.us: The NJ Groups meet was smoking this weekend. Very fast times all around but especially in the 1600 and 3200. You led the way with a 4:09.53 and 9:05.78. Are you surprised with your times? A 6-second PR in the 1600 is pretty big.
Mike Mazzaccaro: I’m almost always surprised with my times, so these races were no different. I try not to think of a certain time that I’d like or want before a race. Instead I try to look at the people in the race and try to beat them not the clock.
MileSplit.us: How had your workouts been going leading up to the meet?
Mike Mazzaccaro: Leading up to the meet our team as a whole had been getting in some really great workouts. I spent the two weeks before states just tuning up my legs so they would be ready for the big meets.
MileSplit.us: How tough was it to outlast Pearson in the 3200 with the 1600 under your legs?
Mike Mazzaccaro: The 3200 was a tough race. Whenever you race against kids as good as Pearson you know it’s going to be a tough race and all you can hope for is that it is an honest one. When Pearson made a big move at 800 it caught me a little off guard. Because of that the final two laps were pretty painful but I knew for our team to have a chance at the title I had to get my ten points so I gave it my best and ended up just winning over the last 100 meters.
MileSplit.us: What are your plans for NJ MOC? Any plans for a national meet this year? What would you compete in?
Mike Mazzaccaro: At MOC I will be running the 3200. After that I have no plans to race again until cross-country, I’m pretty stoked to start running at Holmdel park again. (Mazzaccaro was 3rd in 9:02.46).
MileSplit.us: What has been your most memorable race to date in your high school career? Why does this one stand out?
Mike Mazzaccaro: The Holmdel twilight meet 3200 is my most memorable race so far. The race stands out because it was my biggest PR freshman year from 9:58 down to 9:45, it was a freshman record at the time but was beat this year by Aaron “Sandy” Libertore. The other thing that made this race great was, it was the first time I beat Dennis Smith our resident kicker at the time.
MileSplit.us: What are some fond non-running memories from high school?
Mike Mazzaccaro: Most of my fondest memories are of myself just hanging out with the kids on my team at the local pizza sub/pizza place and the going and playing 21 at Pete’s house.
MileSplit.us: What do you like to do with your time when you aren't competing or practicing? Hobbies? Activities with friends?
Mike Mazzaccaro: When I’m not competing or practicing I usually hang out with my friends or family.
MileSplit.us: When did you first get into running? Was there a particular event or person that influenced you?
Mike Mazzaccaro: I fist got into running for my middle school team St. Leo’s. I was a 100-dash guy for my first couple of years. That didn’t turn out to well so I eventually made my way up in distance and got to where I am today. Mr. Vassel and Mr. Deluca were probably the first coaches that really got me into running distance so I’d say the influenced me the most to run the events I do today.
MileSplit.us: What role models do you have in T&F? Why?
Mike Mazzaccaro: Biggest role model in T&F is probably Coach Bennett, he ran in HS, college and beyond. Most people would agree he is a great coach and an even better motivator. But most of all he is an honest person who let’s you know what you need to be great and he won’t rest until he sees you doing it.
MileSplit.us: Who do you look up to outside of T&F? Why?
Mike Mazzaccaro: I look up to my family and friends because they are the one who always think I can do things that I might not believe I can and they are always the ones cheering for me to keep on going.
MileSplit.us: If you allowed yourself to think ahead for the next several years, what would you like to accomplish as a senior? In college? Beyond college?
Mike Mazzaccaro: As a senior I would love to win a team state championship in all three seasons next year. I would also love to see my team make it to Nike Nationals in cross-country. In college and beyond I hope I can keep improving and keep on making it up to the next level.
Here are some quick-fire fun questions...
It’s a Wonderful Life
“ Get that stupid look off your face”
Running Big loops (1.5 mile loops around our schools campus)
If you were lost on a deserted island and could only bring one (non-life-essential) item what would it be?
Original Gameboy color
To read all the TrackChat Interviews, click here