Published: May 13, 2012 10:50 AM
Modified: May 13, 2012 11:15 AM
Francesca (Frankie) Perone
Carrboro High School, class of 2012
Perone is one of the gifted and versatile athletes in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools, participating in cross-country, soccer, track and field. She splits practice time in the spring between the track and soccer teams, practicing or playing each on alternate days.
As a runner, she's helped Carrboro wins three straight NCHSAA state championships with her top-10 finishes. The Jaguars were at Greensboro Saturday in search of another NCHSAA track and field title.
In soccer, a game said to be decided by "who runs the fastest longest," Perone is immensely valuable, sometimes playing as a defender or sometimes up top, and sometimes doing both in a single game. Even when she's part of the Carrboro defense, she can be seen coming all the way forward on overlapping runs to score a goal.
Is she a soccer player who likes to run, or a runner who likes to play soccer? Even she's not sure. "I've played soccer my entire life, ever since I was a child, but I love running, too. Once upon a time I thought about playing soccer in college, and then I realized I would rather do running."
Next fall, she'll be running at MIT.
Parents: Kristen and Dino Perone.
Born/moved: Upstate New York, ("so far North it was basically Canada.") Her father, in the U.S. military, moved the family to Texas, New Jersey and Alabama before coming to Chapel Hill by the time Perone was in first grade.
Favorite class at Carrboro: (surprise) mathematics.
Advanced Placement courses (4): Calculus, Physics, Literature, French.
Toughest course: AP Physics … "That's not too good, considering where I'll be going to college."
Why MIT? "I really like math and science. MIT will offer me a lot of opportunities. And I'll get to run there, too. That's an added bonus." (Considered N.C. State, UNC Charlotte, Virginia, but MIT was always her first choice.)
Happiest memory from sports: Carrboro winning its the first of three state championships in cross-country. "It was just the most amazing feeling in the entire world. I was completely new to the sport, and I had no idea what was going on, (although she finished seventh, individually,) but the overwhelming joy I felt has no comparison."
Most admired athletes: Emil Zátopek – the famed "Czech Locomotive, who won three gold medals (5000 meters, 10K and the marathon) in the 1932 Olympics — and soccer star Mia Hamm, who led the USA to a World cup and Olympic gold.
Coaching influence: Sarah Hallenbeck, Carrboro's first cross-country coach. "She was my introduction to the sport. She is the foundation for all of my knowledge of cross-country. It's really hard to single out one coach, because they've all been important."
People don't know: "I don't like it when someone touches my feet."
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