Name: Marisa Antinori
Hometown: Audubon, Pa.
High School: Westtown School
Sports: Women's Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field
Activities/Clubs/Committees: Student Researcher in Chemistry Lab
Why did you choose Haverford?
Haverford was the only school that emphasized the value of close faculty to student relationships, Quaker values, and academic rigor. I didn't visit any other college where students and professors sat down together for lunch, that trusted in an Honor Code so deeply, or one that was as academically challenging. Ultimately I decided on Haverford because it provided the opportunity to continue playing the sport that I loved while keeping academics a priority.
What is your favorite team experience?
Although it may be strange, my favorite team experience was one where I wasn't competing. Our two-time captain and conference champion, Claire Sargent, was competing in the outdoor shot put finals as a senior. It was her last time throwing in competition, and there were two other competitors who were dangerously close to taking her title. On her last throw, Claire threw the new school record and won the conference title in the shot put. Before the officials even announced the final standings, our team swarmed around her in giant a team hug, yelling and cheering for our teammate. Despite the variety of athletes within our team (distance runners, sprinters, and jumpers), we were all there to celebrate the huge victory of our teammate and our team.
Why did you choose to play a sport in college?
The simplest answer I can give is that track makes me happy. Amidst the stress of homework, tests, and the everyday routine of going to school, competitively running provides an outlet for my adrenaline and competitiveness. Track had never been my primary sport until I came to Haverford, and this decision has only made both my academic and athletic experience here all the better.
What does being a student-athlete mean to you?
Being a student truly does come before being an athlete. This manifests in such a way that I can show up to biology lab in my practice gear, intellectually engage in lab for three hours, and then head off to practice at the track. It also means that if my lab is running late, I can communicate with my coach and we would accommodate accordingly. My favorite part of being a student-athlete at Haverford is that during long meets on Saturdays, teammates will pull out their books, highlighters, and essays to work on during down time. It creates a shared, common struggle among us. It also provides the opportunity for extra support. If a professors office hours are usually held during practice time, sure enough there's an upperclassman major in that subject who's more than willing to sit down with you after practice and help out.
What advice would you give a high school student considering Haverford?
Haverford will provide you with an environment that you will be surrounded by many other student-athletes who go through the same experiences you do. You will find different teams studying together after practice, and then see the same group crushing a lift early in the morning. However, it's also a place where sports aren't everything. Your best and closest friends may not be on your team, and that's the beauty of a Division III school. Your opportunities, social interactions, and your academic career are not limited because of a sport, but they're expanded.