EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 7, 2013

Meet the Parent

Once unheralded Astro senior surges past competition

A year ago, Pinkerton senior Phil Parent was — to put it mildly — not a happy camper.

After failing to make the cross country team as a freshman and sophomore, he finally made the cut as a junior. In fact, he had the seventh fastest time at tryouts.

Ordinarily, that would be good enough to run with the varsity but, because of a driver’s education commitment, he twice was forced to come to preseason practice late.

That led to a two-meet suspension. Those meets were also a qualifier to run in the Manchester Invitational, so Parent missed that as well. He didn’t run with the varsity until the Mack Plaque race against Londonderry.

“I was really kind of ticked off about it, to tell the truth,” said Parent, who started running in the fifth grade but was only average in middle school. “I was pretty upset.

“I left driver’s ed early and just missed as little of practice as I could, maybe 20 to 30 minutes. I didn’t think that should have kept me out.”

By the time he ran in the Mack Plaque race, Parent was chomping on the bit to race.

“It (two-meet suspension) got me going,” he said. “I really wanted to show what I could do.”

“He was our fifth guy and ran a heck of a race,” said veteran coach Mike Clark. “When I saw what he did, my jaw dropped. Based on him not even making the team the two years before, I wasn’t expecting it.”

Clark was also not expecting Parent to make the steady progress he’s made ever since. He quickly became one of the Astros’ top runners and was their No. 3 runner at the Division 1 meet, running a 16:59 at Derryfield Park.

That carried over to track, where Parent ran the 3,200 meters in 9:47.17 and finished third in Division 1. Impressive for sure, but nothing prepared Clark for Parent’s jump this year.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington
Boston Sports