CARIBOU, Me. (WAGM) - Caribou's Dylan Marrero is the only runner in the County to qualify for the New England Championships in Manchester, New Hampshire.
"I've been really looking forward to this, it's something I wanted to do last year, I missed it by eight seconds," Marrero said. "But ever since then I've been really working at it trying to get that chance again this year, so I'm really thankful that I actually get to do it this year."
And it's no surprise to his head coach that he did.
"Dylan has a unique attitude that makes him unbelievably determined," Caribou Cross-Country coach Roy Alden said. "He really cares about his teammates and can fight through adversity that other kids can't."
Marrero moved to Caribou in his Sophomore year and had never run cross-country before. That changed quickly as his homeroom teacher, by pure happenstance, was Coach Alden.
"He wanted me to give it a try and I guess that's what started it all." Marrero said.
"He hadn't really run much before and it's a natural talent," Alden said.
Now two years later, Marrero is making the final preparations before competing with the best distance runners in New England.
"It oughta be tough but I'm going to try to go into it with the same mentality I did at states," Marrero said. "Just go out there run the race I usually do without thinking of anything and let the cards fall where they do."
Marrero also says he wants to continue his cross-country career in college. His top choice: Bowdoin. After some lobbying from Coach Alden for an extra day on the trip, he'll get the opportunity to meet with the coach on his way down to Manchester.