Fall Sports Overview: Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country


Elizabeth Carney

Cross Country Team Hiking at Blue Hills

April Ferguson

As Winthrop High School starts their new school year, fall sports are underway. The boys and girls cross country teams are working hard and competing against other schools throughout the start of the season. The boys are currently 0-3 and the girls are 1-2. I caught up with Coach Mark D’Amico, junior captain Elizabeth Carney, and freshman Tim Vargus to see their opinions on the season so far, and how they plan for improvement throughout the season. 


Coach Mark D’Amico coached at his high school after college, volunteering for a few years. He also coached his daughter’s soccer team for a while. Coach D’Amico also coaches girls indoor track and boys outdoor track for the high school. His favorite coaching experience was watching the girls indoor track team win the NEC’s a couple years ago, because of how hard they’d worked. This year, he enjoyed watching the girls run at the Gloucester meet, adding that they all ran well.


When asking about the season, Coach D’Amico said, “I think it’s a good year. We’re building, we’re getting more kids out, I think everybody’s enjoying themselves for the most part. We’re definitely working towards getting better. I think every meet everybody is doing better and their times are getting better. I think they really get along as a group well. They do really well on group runs and they’re very supportive of each other.” 


Elizabeth (Libby) Carney, cross country, winter track, and spring track athlete enjoys spending her days with her friends on the team.


Libby, junior captain answers similarly saying, “Our season is going really great. We’ve had some great practices, some really fun meets, we’ve met a lot of fun people that we got to talk with. We have been working really hard, really dedicated, and everyone on the team is really nice. Our team is really good at working hard and being really dedicated. Everyone puts forward their best effort and we always succeed and improve our own times.” 


Tim Vargus plays baseball and basketball, along with cross country. He enjoys jumping into the ocean after long practices. 


When answering the question, Tim replied, “Our season is going pretty well, I hope to improve my personal achievements. Our team gets along with each other well. I think that we cooperate pretty well during the meets.”


I also asked what they thought they needed to work on and what they look forward to this season.


Coach Mark D’Amico states, “Not complaining about hard workouts and long runs. I’m looking forward to seeing the kids grow as athletes, them bettering themselves, and just them enjoying and seeing how they improve as we go towards the NEC meet.” 


Libby Carney claims, “I think our team could definitely work on attendance. Sometimes people really aren’t able to show. This season I’m really looking forward to states.”


Tim Vargus answers, “Mindset. We need to work on our mindset because it could be a factor to why we aren’t placing higher in meets. I’m looking forward to beating my personal achievements.”


Lastly, I asked them what advice they would give for someone looking to try out next year.


“I’d say just give it a try, see if you like it. It’s definitely relaxing when you’re out on the runs, if you like to run. Not everybody likes to run. It definitely will get you in shape for other sports that you compete in during other seasons,” said Coach D’Amico.


Elizabeth offered up this sentiment: “Everyone is welcome to join, we love getting new faces. The sport is really great for exercising. If you don’t think you’re super great at the start that doesn’t really matter because getting used to running takes a couple weeks, and then you’ll be improving super fast with your time.”


Tim responded with, “Don’t stress about it. You’re going to make the team and it’s very easy to get along with all of us.”


The cross country team is always looking for new sign ups, so if you’re interested contact Coach D’Amico at [email protected].

The cross country team’s next meet is Thursday October 7 vs Salem at Winter Island.

All information above is as of October 1, 2021.

Timmy Vargus, Ryan Cash, John Rice (top left to right) Sophia Lindinger, Sage Calinda, Elizabeth Carney, April Ferguson (bottom left to right) (Courtesy of Gloucester Facebook @GHS Fishermen Athletics)