Joe Vercollone, Pembroke High school
"Joe has been An outstanding runner for us for the last four years, but his leadership skills were more impressive. His ability to lead both physically and vocally always impressed us as a coaching staff. Joe also showed incredible resilience thoughout his 4 yrs, whenever something didn't go well, he always seemed to rise to the occasion the very next chance he had. It was a pleasure to be a part of joes career over the past four years, I am going to miss him."---Coach Zopatti
What do you enjoy doing outside of your running?
- I enjoy watching a lot of tv, hanging out with friends, going to the beach, bridge jumping, playing poker, throwing
the football around, going to the movies, spending all my money right when I get it, and working at Verc Car Rental.
What are you going to miss most about your high school running career?
- Most of all i’m going to miss practices. Not the actual running during practice but hanging around with friends and
coaches just talking. Whether it’s about running or someone on the team, the conversations are always funny and
What was your most memorable race?
- Dartmouth Relays, January 7 2012, 1000m finals. I went into the race seeded 5th and not feeling all too confident.
With 2 laps to go I found myself in 6th and the leaders were pulling away. For the first time in my running career I
thought to myself, “screw it, let’s see how many people I can pass”. That was the start of a new trend for me during
races. I find myself thinking that a lot more during races. Anyways, I didn’t expect to win the race or even be in the
lead at any point, but I wound up catching everyone and gaping the field by 20 yards while also setting the meet
record in 2:30.51. It’s not my personal best, but this is the race that set up everything for me the rest of my senior
Out of all your high school running accomplishments, what stands out the most?
- Being part of a cross country team that has won states the past four years, has won all-states twice, and has
represented Massachusetts at Nike Cross Nationals two years in a row. I may not be as good a cross country runner
but the team atmosphere in this sport is more special than any other team I’ve been a part of.
What was the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
-It’s not as much an obstacle but a decision I had to make. The fall of my sophomore year I switched from soccer
to cross country in order to get into better shape for wrestling. However, after a very successful cross country
season individually and as a team I was thinking about doing indoor track. The only problem was I really liked
my wrestling team and coach, plus I had an opportunity to win an individual state title and be part of a state
championship team. It still is to this day the toughest decision of my life. And after two weeks of having several
different people telling me what to do with my life I decided to go with indoor track. I knew I had more of a future
in running than wrestling and I also enjoy running more. Looking back on it I am 100% confident that I made the
Do you have any advice for younger runners?
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift”-Steve Prefontaine
-This is by far my favorite quote by my favorite runner. Everyone is born with talent and to not use that talent to its
full extent is just sacrificing what you were given. So basically, work hard every day at practice and when it comes
to race day leave everything out on the track. Also, hate losing more than you like winning and you’re bound to be
If you were to change anything about your high school running career.....what would you change?
-Absolutely nothing. I enjoyed every bit of it. My team, my coaches, and all the races I ran in or watched. Even the
races I did bad in I would not change because I learned more from failing than I did from succeeding. Also, I have
been very fortunate to be part of such a great team and all the opportunities I was given because of that.
What are your college plans?
-I am going to Providence College next year and majoring in Business Finance. And I am also running at PC.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
-I would like to thank my team for being such great friends. My coaches for being not only great coaches but great
people. And my family for always supporting me.