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The Yankee Express

Pushed into Running, Now a State Champion

By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer

Running never seemed to stimulate the interest of Douglas’ Dominic Rossi. However, having an older brother who was a sprinter and doing well, his mother thought it would be a good idea to push her younger son into doing the same. At the time, the younger Rossi was more focused on playing soccer and basketball and taking part in a running event wasn’t what he was looking for. 
Eventually, Rossi found himself bored in the spring and looking for something to do, gave in to his mother’s request and decided to try out for the track and field team during his sophomore year. That season he took to throwing the shot put and discus.
“Things took a bit to get used to,” he said. “But eventually things started to fall into place and I was getting the hang of it and began to love what I was doing. My hard work was starting to show up in the results and I wanted to improve as the season went on.”
During that inaugural season Rossi throw the shot put 30 plus feet and the discus 80-90 feet; distances that were not too bad for a first-time thrower. It wasn’t long after that when the fire sparked and he was passionate about the sports and the results he could achieve.
Following his sophomore winter season, he participated in a decathlon, for the fun of it or so he was told. 
“Originally I think the coach brought it up as a joke; telling us it was the last thing that we could do after the season. He told us that it was a laid-back type of event,” Rossi recalls. “I figured that my body could take the beating and gave it a try.”
Being a very competitive person, Rossi put everything he had into the decathlon and despite cramping up in the 1500 was still able to finish sixth. The amazing feeling that he had after the competition was more than the exhilaration that Rossi was looking for more. During his senior indoor season, he decided to move to the pentathlon instead, where he figured there were more events that catered to his strengths. Once again, he felt things were moving along smoothly in the competition until he once again cramped up in the 1000 meters. Despite not finishing in the top echelon he was able to set personal bests in both the shot put and hurdles. 
When his senior outdoor season came to an end this year, Rossi once again took to taking on the pentathlon challenge; this time he was going to be prepared.
“After cramping up the last two times, I was more focused this time and carried around a gallon of water with electrolytes in it to stay hydrated,” he said. “I believe it helped to keep my body fit and ready to take on all five events.”
Staying hydrated was probably a big factor in his performance that day as the Douglas athlete won the Division 6 Pentathlon Championship. Taking part in the five events all in one day Rossi was able to high jump 5’ 8.9”, run the 100 m hurdles at 16.68 seconds, post a jump of 18’ 9 ¼” in the long jump, throw the shot put 39’ 6.4 “and close out with running the 1500 with a time of 5:04.44. All accumulated Rossi would score 2913 points in the five events, 167 points more than his closest competitor. The 2913 points set a new Douglas school record.
“I was a bit nervous going into the last event – the 1500,” Douglas Coach Jeff Thayer said. “He had to work really hard to hold onto his lead.”
Prior to beginning the day Rossi believed that it was always a possibility swirling around in his head that he could win the 5-event competition.
“I do believe in faith and this was the path that was set out for me,” he said. “I needed to go this way (cramping up the previous two times) to be successful. It was a lesson, one that whooped me twice before I figured it out.”
Rossi went onto say that he is unsure of what the path in front of him is or what it holds, but he is not worried about it. He does know that up next in college, where he will be taking part in both indoor and outdoor track for Assumption University in Worcester.
The Assumption coach took notice of Rossi at a camp that he was attending and struck up a conversation with the athlete after watching him run. Rossi was invited to the school for an overnight visit and that was it, he was hooked.
“During the visit in the fall it seemed as though everyone was together and they all cared about one another,” he said. “I wanted to be part of that atmosphere. I’m looking to keep working hard and represent the school, while hoping to get onto the podium as much as I can.”