Salute To Seniors: Peter Licari - Hagerty
What was your most memorable race?
States this last track season. I know it's recent, but missing the podium by a single place is going to to stay with me and inspire me to work harder for years to come.
Wh0 would you consider your biggest competition?
Too many kids to list. I have been both cursed and blessed with the phenomenal competition here in Florida. Cursed in that it was extremely difficult to stand out against such talented, hardworking athletes, but blessed that these kids were there to push me to my best.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most?
Being awarded a creative writing superlative at my high school. Most people just see me as a runner, but that's just one side to me. I put in just as many hours a day in pursuit of literary perfection as I do for athletic excellence. So being recognized for my writing as well as my running is incredibly gratifying.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would try and take better care of myself. It was only this last year that I realized the kind of toll running will put on the body. In the years before, I would get minimal sleep and my diet was atrocious, but that's why we run in High School- to iron out the kinks before college.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
My asthma definitely tops the list. The high pollen count at races would threaten to set off asthmatic episodes; some days it felt like I was suffocating. But I have an inhaler, so it's detrimental effects on my racing career has been limited.
What will you miss the most?
The camaraderie at these local meets. I've created so many incredible relationships with my fellow competitors. It's going to be interesting adapting to races without them. The positive thing though is that many of these guys are also running in college so I still get to bump into them in the years to come.
Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Work hard and take nothing for granted. Believe in the work you've done, the miles tallied under your legs, and never be afraid to attain what others call unattainable. Remember that there are no secrets; you can't take shortcuts and expect to become successful. Above all, have fun. You can't pursue this arguably masochistic sport without deriving some joy from the experience. Something inside of you craved the satisfactory burn of distance run. Keep that part close and never let go.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
I've been so blessed to have so many excellent coaches guiding me. Coach Getty, Malkovich , Janson , Wise, and Rohr . These men have helped shape me into the man I am today and I owe them an immeasurable debt. They trained me to be successful while tempering my natural ambition so I would save my best for the years to come. They helped me look forward to the future.
What are your college plans?
I am attending the Honors College at the University of Tampa where I will run for their cross country and track teams while pursuing a major in government and world affairs and a minor in creative writing.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I wish to thank everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. My competitors for never making anything easy. My coaches for guiding and inspiring me. My teachers who were extremely understanding and considerate of my pursuits. Especially when it came time to turning in late assignments. Above all, I want to thank my family. My father, my mother, my brothers: you have sacrificed sleep, time, and money to watch me grow and improve into the man I am. I simply wouldn't be here if it wasn't for your unwavering support.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I hope that the younger generation appreciates the experiences they're getting now. Because before they know, it'll be over. While we all know it's to give us a chance to pursue bigger and better things, there's still that bittersweet realization that it's time to move on. I hope they never forget their roots and the people who got them to where they are. I know I won't.