Runner Jeff Perrella to be inducted into WHS Athletic Hall of Fame

Sam Stravach, R3 Sports Editor

This year’s Westfield Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Perrella initially got into running when his best friend dragged him to some of the preseason runs or “Fun Runs” as they are called. Later, during his freshman year, he joined winter track as a way to stay in shape for soccer.

Perrella’s passion for running grew immensely due to the environment of the track team. He recalled how supportive the coaches were to all of the freshman, caring about every person on the team, regardless of their running ability.

“The coaches really built and maintained an environment where every member of the team mattered,” Perrella said. “[It didn’t matter] whether you were the fastest guy or a freshman with pink eye who finished in dead last place in his first race.”

Perrella also acknowledges his teammates role in his running career, saying that they helped him every step of the way. This included making him finish his runs, working out with him before school, and more.

Not only did Perrella develop a passion for running, but he also went on to compile many impressive accomplishments, both individually and with his team. To him, the biggest accomplishment was the cross country team making it to the Meet of Champions in 2004.

“We all came together with that goal in the spring and worked together all summer to get there,” Perrella said. “There’s nothing quite like setting a collective goal, dedicating yourself to the work, and seeing it through to the end.”

Perrella went on to run Division One at College of William and Mary. However, he later transferred to run Division One at Yale University.

Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is an honor for Perrella, especially because he is being inducted with Coach Thomas Hornish, who passed away in 2015. Perrella described Hornish as “not only a teacher but a mentor to me as I entered the professional world.”