Gazette Girls Indoor Track Player of the Year: Adrienne Pascucci of Northampton
Adrienne Pascucci, of Northampton, has been named the Daily Hampshire Gazette Girls Indoor Track Player of the Year. Purchase photo reprints »
Adrienne Pascucci is a talented enough athlete to compete in virtually any track and field event. But it’s the supreme dedication and focus the Northampton standout puts forth in her training that allowed her to stand out from the crowd this indoor season.
And after an impressive senior season leading the Blue Devils in total points, including a team-high 26 at the PVIAC championship in February, Pascucci has been named the Daily Hampshire Gazette Girls Indoor Track and Field Player of the Year.
“I’m very honored to be named athlete of the year, I think that’s great,” Pascucci said. “This year I went against a lot of good people, and you always see people have very strong meets, so that means a lot.”
Pascucci, a captain, showed once again this winter why she is one of the most talented and well-rounded athletes in the region. She excelled at a wide array of events, including the 55-meter hurdles, 4x400 relay, high jump and long jump, which was a relatively new skill for her.
She helped lead Northampton to a second-place finish at the PVIAC meet, placing first in the 55 hurdles and second in the high jump and long jump. It was her showing in the long jump — a personal best of 16 feet, 6 inches — that caught the eye of her first-year coach Brian Frodema.
“To see her long jump, especially with her height,” Frodema said, “to go out there, get down the runway and put down a 161∕2-foot jump off of very minimal practice repetitions was one of those things that kind of took me back a little bit.”
Added Pascucci, “I think some things finally clicked and fell together pretty well.”
Frodema said he was impressed with every aspect of Pascucci’s performance this season, but that the approach she brought to the day-in, day-out grind of the season is what he appreciated most.
“She came out and worked hard every single day,” he said. “I think that’s one of the traits that sets her apart from everyone. Her focus in her training and her ability to work multiple events in a given day.”
Pascucci prides herself in her ability to perform at a high level in multiple events. She credited the Blue Devils’ new coaching staff for helping her prepare for the rigors of such varied competition.
“This year with our new coaches, I think I was able to work more strongly on technical aspects of training,” she said. “So, I got more skill help with high jump and long jump. (Coach) Brandon Palmer, he did hurdles himself, so he was a lot of help with hurdle form, especially my start.”
Pascucci has also proved to be a strong leader for her younger Blue Devils teammates. By letting her work ethic and actions on and off the track speak for themselves, she hoped she could leave a lasting impression on the underclassmen.
“I think that leading by example is the best way to be a captain,” she said. “Because in track, I think a lot of it is innate talent, but then it’s the effort that comes with it that really makes you better. So, if you see your captain trying their hardest, it makes you want to do the same.”
That senior leadership wasn’t lost on Frodema.
“I think most of all with Adrienne, it’s the way she leads by example,” he said. “She’s the type of athlete that any type of coach would be grateful to have on their team.”
While her time at Northampton is drawing to a close, Pascucci is looking forward to continuing her athletic career at the collegiate level as a pentathlete and heptathlete at Boston University next fall.
“I’m really excited about it,” she said. “In college, I’ll just get to get a lot more skill training like I did this past season. I think with that kind of coaching I’ll be able to do better in all the events.”
Frodema said his goal as coach is to prepare athletes for the next level of competition, but that losing a star like Pascucci will be difficult.
“You can’t replace an athlete like Adrienne,” he said. “You can only hope to have somebody as gifted and as hard working and with that same attitude come out again.”
GIRLS INDOOR TRACK
Aryn Banas, sophomore, South Hadley
Kanya Brown, sophomore, Amherst Regional
Mel Devoney, senior, Amherst Regional
Alex Dibrindisi, sophomore, Northampton
Rachel Harrington, junior, South Hadley
Anna Kaplan, junior, Amherst Regional
Adrienne Pascucci, senior, Northampton
Serena Sarage, sophomore, South Hadley
Sophie Sharp, sophomore, Northampton
Angela Thibault, sophomore, South Hadley
Mia Toffoli, senior, Northampton
Sara Vannah, senior, Amherst Regional
Hope Werenski, junior, South Hadley
Katherine Zombik, senior, Holyoke Catholic
Emma Biggs, senior, Amherst Regional
Juliana Brissette, sophomore, Amherst Regional
Ariel Christie, freshman, Amherst Regional
Emma Gonzalez, sophomore, Amherst Regional
Althea Schenck, senior, Amherst Regional
Leah Tompkins, senior, Northampton