The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

April 17, 2014

Marcucci not fazed by expectations

GOOSE LAKE — Despite her age, Northeast sophomore Aleenah Marcucci still has the moxie to get back to the state track meet.

Marcucci placed in both hurdle events — sixth in the 100 and fifth in the 400 — in Des Moines as a freshman last season. Now, she has the mindset of an upperclassman despite being just a second-year student at Northeast High School.

“There’s a little bit of pressure,” Marcucci said. “I think of it as I have a lot of time to get where I want to be. It does make me a little nervous that I don’t have as much experience.”

Before she has to worry about the state meet, Marcucci will place focus on the Drake Relays, as she aims to return to the blue oval to compete in the 100 and 400 hurdles.

“Right now my best time is a 1:07, and I’m hoping to get it down to a 1:05 by the end of the season,” she said of the 400 hurdles. “It’s been cold during my first few meets, so my times haven’t been very good, but I have Thursday to improve it.”

Today is the final day to qualify for Drake, and she is hoping to make the cut in the eight-runner field. The Rebels run at Tipton today.

Her 1:07.58 is the fastest time in Class 2A. The next fastest time in 2A comes from Hinton’s Lauren Hedlund with a 1:08.54.

Marcucci is ranked 23rd in the 100 hurdles, and the top 32 times qualify for Drake there.

One of the things that motivates Marcucci the most is not finishing as high as she was projected to last year.

“I was ranked higher than what I got, and I ended up lower than my rankings, and this year, I’m hoping to do better than I did last year.”

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