DERRY — The rain was pouring down, the track was slick and their jerseys were soaking wet within moments of leaving the locker room.
But, just like the competition last Sunday, the conditions were not about to stop the Pinkerton Academy distance trio of senior Phil Parent and sophomores Nick Sevilla and Tom Hanlon.
The trio was more than happy to work out in the sloppy conditions yesterday, still on Cloud 9 following their spectacular finish at the New Hampshire Division 1 track meet Sunday, when the three Astros took the top three spots in the 3,200-meter race to spark the team’s rally for the title.
“It was one of the greatest days of my life,” said Parent. “The meet wasn’t looking good, and the 3,200 was when it all started to turn around. It was the biggest race of my life and while I knew nothing was guaranteed I had plenty of faith in myself and the guys.”
The rare 1-2-3 — Sevilla was first, Hanlon second and Parent third — was the culmination of plenty of work and training for the three.
“We train extremely hard,’ said Sevilla. “Phil is amazing because he runs so fast through every drill and every practice. We have to work so hard just to keep up with him. People jokingly call Tom and I the ‘Dynamic Duo’ because we are always working out together and pushing each other. You have to get better.”
Building the team
No one journeyed further for his Division 1 state title than Sevilla, who was born in the South American republic of Ecuador. As a young child, his family then moved to the South African city of Johannesburg where his mother was working on medical research.
“South Africa was very different,” he said. “I had a lot of friends there who I would love to get in contact with. It was a big city, and there was a lot of crime. My parents didn’t feel like it was a good place to raise a child.