The clock ticking down toward the end of Carleo’s high school career seemed to have an endless supply of time when he burst onto the scene as a freshman and qualified for Nationals during the indoor season. Last year as a sophomore, his breakout performance came during the indoor season when he placed third in the mile at the All-State Championships with a 4:17.
“It’s a maturity thing,” Hennigar said. “He came in as a freshman and didn’t really understand. It was the whole aspect of, ‘What’s going on? I’m coming out for the team because I like to run.’ He didn’t see the big picture.
“After being around a couple of years, now he’s into who’s around, who’s good, who is the competition,” Hennigar said. “He also understands he can’t just get by on natural ability. He has to work as hard as those kids from other schools who finished ahead of him. He’s in a much different place than he was last year both in terms of fitness and his mental approach.”
As a junior, Carleo also seems to be taking more ownership of the team’s overall success. When listing his goals for the season, before he referenced individual titles at the Division 5 meet or All-State Championships, he addressed his primary goal of helping the team improve on its third-place finish at All-State Championships last year. The Clippers are two-time defending Eastern Mass. Division 5 champions.
“He’s knocking on the door of a lot of achievements,” Hennigar said. “He’s never won an individual Division 5 championship, so that’s on his bucket list. I know All-States is important to him, and the big thing is to have the team do very well. He’d very much like to have the course record (15:12) at Maudslay. We’ll get him those opportunities in the next couple of years.”