Gina Conti Breaks the 1000 Meter School Record at BSC Meet

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A sophomore Walpole runner places second in the 1000m at the Freshman-Sophomore Meet.

Christina Freiberger

A sophomore Walpole runner places second in the 1000m at the Freshman-Sophomore Meet. (Photo/ Mary Barry)

The fastest 1,000 meter runner ever at Walpole High School, the fastest 1,000 meter runner in the Bay State League, and the fastest sophomore in the 1,000 meter in the state of Massachusetts, Gina Conti has proved that she is quite the runner. Conti PR’ed by 8 seconds on Wednesday, February 8 to get a time of 3:01.22 at the Bay State League Meet. After running across the finish line, Conti threw her arms in the air to celebrate her record breaking goal— a goal she had set for herself since before freshman year.

Prior to this race, Conti considered the 600 meter her best race because she is ranked fourth in the Bay Sate League and fifth in Division two for this race, with a time of 1:39.09. The first time Conti ran this event her freshman year she ran a 1:51.10; evidently, she has put in the hard work to improve even further since then. She was planning on running the 600 meter in States on February 16, and possibly All-States, but after she set her new PR in the 1000 meter, she decided to run this event instead.

Last spring, Conti was named a Bay State League All-Star because of her 400 meter time of 61.64, her 800 meter time of 2:22.00, and her mile time of 5:26. Although mid-distance events such as these are Conti’s best races, she is still a competitive runner from events as short as the 300 meter and as long as the 2 mile.

Conti’s interest in running began when she was younger and has had drastic development since then. She said, “I started running competitively in middle school, running road races and winning my age division. I then moved on to competing in the Bay State Games in 2010 over the summer. I then realized that this is something I am exceptional in.” Conti won the Turkey Run at Bird Middle School two out of three of the years, two of her first few victories. She then moved on to training after school at the high school, specifically for hurdles. Although she may have been successful in hurdling events, based on her new PR, she is thankful she decided to try distance events instead.

Conti finds support for her track endeavors from her mom, dad, and little brother. Conti’s father, Joe Conti, is always right beside the track during her races, encouraging her to push herself each lap. Conti said, “My dad was once a track coach for Xaverian Brothers High School, so I developed a bit off of him. He pushes me to do my best, and knows what my best is. But I have to be willing to put in the effort; he is just here for support.” Conti’s family supports her in more than just track, however. She is a member of the WHS swim team in the fall and a member of the Walpole Summer Swim Team, and not surprisingly,her family attends every swim meet as well to watch her compete in the 100 breaststroke. Conti and her family also enjoy skiing at Sunday River on weekends with their extended family.

Many records have been broken this year by junior and senior track and field athletes. Sophomore Gina Conti, however, is the only underclassman to stride her way to the top. For the Division 2 Class Meet scheduled for Thursday, February 16, Conti is ranked second in the 1000m behind senior Kelsey Whitaker of Notre Dame Academy of Hingham.  If she races well and places in the top four this Thursday, she will move on to All-States next week.  So with her most important race of the season coming up tomorrow, and with a 2012 spring season and two more years to compete, Conti definitely hopes to throw her arms in the air again to celebrate breaking her own school record.