2022-23 Gazette Boys Indoor Track Athlete of the Year: David Pinero-Jacome, Amherst

By HANNAH BEVIS

Staff Writer

Published: 05-01-2023 11:17 AM

Winning a state title isn’t just about talent and hard work — though that certainly plays a large part of it.

For Amherst junior David Pinero-Jacome and his coach Bob Rosen, it was also about planning.

The two spent the season experimenting with different racing styles during meets, working to craft the perfect plan that would set Pinero-Jacome up for success in the postseason. Though he’s known for his endurance running, Pinero-Jacome’s torrid speed shines best on the track in the mid-distance events. After running a lot of 600 meter races last year, this year he focused on the 1,000.

“He has a lethal kick, his kick is ferocious,” Rosen said on Pinero-Jacome. “So we said OK, the best case scenario is if the race gets out pretty quickly, you can get right behind the leader — the pace is fast enough and then you bide your time and when the race needs to be won, you outkick everyone.”

Hurtling into the final lap at the MIAA Division 3 Indoor Track & Field Championships, Pinero-Jacome was seated firmly in third, tucked behind Oliver Ames’ Aidan Dupill and Walpole’s Sean Kerin. With about a lap to go, Pinero-Jacome turned on the jets, chasing down Kerpin along the back stretch and then flying around Dupill in the final turn. He crossed the finish line far ahead of his competitors, his goal finally achieved — his first state title.

“It was a special feeling,” Pinero-Jacome said on winning his first state title. “It was a lot of hard work throughout the months put in by me and my coach Bob. We’ve been planning on this since the beginning of the season.”

Pinero-Jacome was the only boys’ track competitor in the Gazette’s coverage area to win an indoor state title, and for that and his consistent top finishes all year, he was selected as the Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.

Pinero-Jacome is fiercely competitive, and after not getting the results he wanted in cross-country season, he came into his indoor track season with one main goal – a state title.

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“There’s been a few runners (I’ve known) that have been as competitive as him, but not many,” Rosen said. “He’s special in his competitive zeal, and he’s hard on himself when things don’t go perfectly well. But he bounces back and he’s ready to figure out how to get better still even when the result wasn’t what he wanted.”

Pinero-Jacome used this season as a giant experiment, figuring out what did and didn’t work for him in different races. Some competitions he used as a workout, others were against faster runners that gave him a better idea of what states would be like. But besides focusing on winning a championship, Pinero-Jacome also came into this season looking for a different mindset.

“I wanted to be able to control what I can control. I know sometimes in life there’s just nothing you can do. There’s external variables that you just have to deal with,” Pinero-Jacome said. “I think part of running really gives you this patience in life so you can deal with things even if they don’t go the way you want them to.”


FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS

Juan Jose Adams Causton, junior, Northampton

Ryland Breen, sophomore, Northampton

Nick Brisson, junior, Hampshire

Ben Cachiguango, sophomore, Frontier

Tim Cahill, junior, Hampshire

Gavin DaFonte, junior, Hampshire

Evan Hedlund, eighth grade, Frontier

Rowan Hodgson, senior, Northampton

Jack Kamins, sophomore, Northampton

Theodore King-Pollet, junior, Northampton

Diego Lopez, senior, Amherst

Jude Mourad, senior, Northampton

Davis Wheat, junior, Northampton

Kyle Yanko, junior, Amherst


SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS

Nicholas Elias-Gillette, junior, Hampshire

Jake Fein, senior, Northampton

Zach Jones, junior, Hampshire

Jaiden Kudelka, junior, Hampshire

Jack Laliberte, sophomore, Hampshire

Nico Lisle, freshman, Amherst

Miguel Pinero-Jacome, junior, Amherst

Owen Platt, freshman, Amherst

Elijah Quinn, junior, Holyoke

Will Reading, sophomore, Frontier

Spencer Reese, senior, Hampshire

Aidan Valderrama, junior, Frontier

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