Earlier this school year, Sophomore Nicholas Passarelli was named to the 2014 Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association (MSTCA) All-Academic Cross Country Team.The criteria for selection included that the athlete have a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher, and either be All-Division (placing top 15 at the cross country divisional state meet), or All-State (placing in the Top 15 overall at the cross country all-state meet). Passarelli met these grade requirements and placed third at the divisional state meet.
Placing third at the Division 6 MSTCA cross country state meet, Passarelli set the IACS school record for a 5K race , running the 3.1 mile race in 16 minutes and 41 seconds, with a pace of about 5 minutes 22 seconds per mile. This is the best that any IACS athlete has done in a cross country state meet so far.
Academics is something that the IACS athletic department holds to high standards, expecting all athletes to put their schoolwork first. As the IACS Athletics 2014-2015 Handbook states, “It is expected of all student- athletes at Innovation Academy Charter High School to earn and maintain respectable grades in all courses. [Students must maintain a C in all academic classes.] Any students who do not maintain these expectations may be placed on Academic Leave.”
IACS’ Athletic Director Nolan McKinnon says that academics is an area he holds close to his heart. “It is my hope that all athletes use this athletic program to help develop into well-rounded individuals with both a desire to win and a desire to learn. When you put dedication into both academics and athletics you will see that the type of effort required to become good at athletics is the same required to master academics. I have seen these abilities beginning to develop in many of the fine student-athletes at IACS.”
Passarelli says the he is glad that his hard work in both areas is paying off. “I try to balance school and sports, and it’s not always easy. I work hard in my training and in my school work, and I’m honored to be recognized for that hard work.” the sophomore hopes to continue to excel in both areas in the years and sport seasons to come.