By Christopher Hunt
For Harrison’s Claudio Delli Carpini, all the pros and cons lists couldn’t help. All the advice and the thinking and re-thinking, the considering and reconsidering refused to bring him any closer to a choice. So he let the choice come to him.
“Honestly, I just woke up one day and it was in my heart to make the choice,” he said.
Delli Carpini accepted a partial scholarship to Clemson University, making him the second of the state’s top hurdlers to join the Tigers. He chose Clemson over Penn State and UConn. The decision came down to not only where he wanted to go but who he was going to be as an athlete. It was important that he not be pigeonholed.
“Clemson was pretty open,” he said. “They said if you come and develop into a multi-eventer then fine. But right now your strengths are the hurdles and the long jump.”
Delli Carpini has focused more on the hurdles and long jump this year. He finished the winter season with the second-fastest time in the state in the 55 hurdles (7.38 en route)and the top mark in the state in the long jump (23-3.50). He opened season with a 13.6 hand-time in the 110 hurdles at the New Rochelle Invitational April 4. It’s no secret that at this point he prefers to hurdle and jump but the senior said that he’s looking to be molded and that’s what Clemson offered. Plus, new Clemson head coach Lawrence Johnson is known as one of the best hurdle coaches around.
“Just to be able to get his approval and to get recruited by one of the best hurdle coaches in the country is an honor in itself,” Delli Carpini.
But part of Delli Carpini’s draw is that he is a capable of being a solid decathlete. He finished fifth at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships in the pentathlon as a sophomore. And if that wasn’t enough, Delli Carpini, who played wide receiver and kicker for Harrison’s football team, said he thinks he may try out for the football squad his sophomore year. He scored a 53-yard field goal this fall.
“You never know,” he said. “A 50-yard kicker is hard to pass up for some people.”
Reach Christopher Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.