A Won-Drew-Ful Experience: St. Mary’s Scholar-athlete DiMaiti Will Attend Tufts

Drew DiMaiti’s accomplishments on the athletic field at St. Mary’s High School may have only been surpassed by his academic achievements.

A three-sport standout and two-sport captain who earned 15 varsity letters, DiMaiti was still representing the school he has treasured for years this past Saturday, finishing as the second-best hurdler in Massachusetts at the State Championships.

Tufts University, one of the most prestigious schools in the nation, recognized DiMaiti’s impressive record by granting him admission last December as a member of the incoming Class of 2018. He received a full-tuition scholarship from the United States Marine Corps. He intends to serve four years in Marine Corps following his college graduation.

The reigning 400-meter hurdles champion in Division 4 after posting an undefeated CCL campaign and setting an All-League Meet record, DiMaiti topped his stellar track season with perfection elsewhere: he scored two 800s in the U.S. History SAT II and Critical Reading SAT I exams.

DiMaiti credited his history teacher, Mike Jalbert, for inspiring him and being an excellent educator and the respect is mutual.

“Drew was unique as far as history students are concerned in my experience,” said Jalbert. “Most kids – it’s hard enough just to get them to read anything – in Drew’s case, he reads scholarly works of history for enjoyment and that is an incredible rarity. I’ve never seen it before. He always went above and beyond and was assiduous in his work. It was always a great pleasure to talk about what we were both reading and share ideas.”

What is also uniquely special and heartwarming about DiMaiti’s ascension to the St. Mary’s Male Scholar-Athlete Award and his acceptance to Tufts – a school located in his hometown of Medford – is that Drew cherished the opportunity to share the St. Mary’s experience on a daily basis with his father, Carl DiMaiti, the esteemed former school principal and his personal track and field mento, and his twin sister, Carol DiMaiti, a three-sport captain who had a noteworthy athletic career herself before  sustaining a devastating ACL injury in her senior soccer season. Carol will attend Merrimack College.

“I’ve been with my sister in school since pre-school,” said Drew. “I’ve loved having her with me – we’re best friends. I’m going to miss her next year in college.”

DiMaiti began playing sports at a young age, dividing his time between ice hockey and soccer. He immediately distinguished himself as a top student and athlete at St. Joseph’s School in Medford.

He then made the transition to a select hockey team, the Vipers, while maintaining his ties to Medford in youth soccer.

In eighth grade, he enrolled at St. Mary’s where his father had been principal and had been guiding the school’s academic and athletic excellence. There was no other choice considered by Drew DiMaiti.

“I did not consider any other schools,” said Drew. “I knew what a great place St. Mary’s was. I had been around the school when I was younger. I attended games, liked the sports teams, met the people and I just loved the atmosphere.”

Drew made his varsity debut in soccer as an eighth grader in Mike D’Agostino’s program. He saw some varsity minutes that year in Mark Lee’s hockey program and began winning races in the track program in the 800 and the 400-meter hurdles, his eventual specialty.

The now 5-foot-6, 146-pound athlete rose to CCL All-Star status in soccer and helped lead the team to the North sectional finals. He will conclude his soccer career in the Agganis All-Star Classic as an Agganis Scholarship recipient. In hockey, DiMaiti and the Spartans qualified for the Super 8 Hockey Tournament, defeating Springfield Cathedral. As a senior, DiMaiti and the Spartans experienced a resurgence with All-Scholastic goalie Bailey McBurnie leading the charge.

“Having Bailey in net helped us big time,” said Drew about his close friend and classmate. “We had the best goalie in the state on our team and he carried us a lot.”

DiMaiti has been the CCL 400-meter hurdles champion since his freshman year. He set the league record of 56.8 in the hurdles and was the 200-meter champion as a junior. He and teammates Mike Cerulli, Tony Mwangi, and Cullen Coyle set a record while winning the CCL 4 x800 meter relay.

DiMaiti said he acquired his hurdling techniques and track skills from his father, Carl, who excelled in track at BC High and Northeastern University. He also lauded the coaching instruction he received from former Brandeis All-American Dom Finelli and Heather Woods.

“I’ve had excellent coaches at St. Mary’s,” said DiMaiti, who in fact won the Hockey Coaches’ Award. “Mark Lee is a great coach and great guy. Coach [Mike] D’Agostino has done a superb job with the soccer program and he gave a lot of chances to succeed there.”

He said his parents were very supportive and that he enjoyed the unique honor of traveling to St. Mary’s with the school principal each day.

“I loved having my father around the school – he’s been a great influence on me,” said Drew. “It’s a pretty cool experience to be with him every day. The other kids loved my dad so I didn’t get any complaints about him. And my mother (Mary) gets less recognition because she wasn’t the principal here but she’s definitely been there for me.”

He has memories that will last a lifetime. DiMaiti recalled an incident as an eighth grader when he was somehow whistled for a hockey infraction after a brief post-game scuffle, though he never took part in it.

“I was just skating around and somehow I got tied up in it. That was quite an experience coming in to my first year in hockey.”

It was Drew’s father, who encouraged him to apply to Tufts. He was accepted in the early decision program.

“Tufts was local and it has great academics,” said Drew. “I spent a lot of time around there. I went to summer camps there and I used their track facilities, too.”

He said competing in three sports, attending daily practices, and getting the academic work done took a lot of time management.

“Having my parents always pushing me to finish my homework was certainly beneficial,” said DiMaiti.

At Tufts, he will study history and international relations. He will be reuniting with his classmate and friend, Spartans’ basketball star Jennie Muccione, in the freshman class.

An honor roll and President’s List student throughout his career, DiMaiti was the fifth-ranked student in the St. Mary’s Class of 2014.

“Academics are taking very seriously at St. Mary’s,” said DiMaiti. “You can see from the college acceptances – we have students going to Harvard, Tufts, Trinity, BU.”

Drew DiMaiti has left a splendid legacy at St. Mary’s. He feels the future of the school is in capable hands with Head of School Grace Cotter Regan and Principal Dr. Mark DiFabio at the helm.

“Mrs. Regan has been doing a great job since she came to St. Mary’s,” said DiMaiti. “She and Dr. DiFabio really support the sports teams as well.”

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