For Gloucester’s Bianca Giacalone, the secret to her athletic success has always been found in her explosiveness.
That explosiveness served her well on the soccer field, where she captained the Fishermen in her senior season and established herself as one of the most feared scorers in the NEC.
The same can be said for on the track, where Giacalone holds three school records and competed among the state’s best in both the winter and the spring.
Giacalone’s dominant speed was among the biggest reasons she landed a commitment to Merrimack College in the fall to continue her career in both sports.
And, finally, it earned her the 2013 nod for the Gloucester Daily Times’ Female Athlete of the Year for Gloucester.
Giacalone may have been at her best during the winter season. After breaking the school record in the 300m during her junior season, Giacalone proceeded to break her own record in the event three more times as a senior this year and advanced all the way to the All-State Meet after posting a fourth-place finish in the state Division 2 Meet.
“It’s these big meets where you have to step up to the plate so I came in a little nervous but focused,” Giacalone said after her huge performance at the Division 2 meet. “I knew my standing would be by time, not where I finished in my heat so I went out with the mindset that I needed to break away from the pack. In a few races I went out too fast and I have finished with too much energy before too, I think I put it all together (last weekend).”
To nobody’s surprise, Giacalone kept the ball rolling in her final spring with the Fishermen, capping off her career at Gloucester with an eighth-place finish in the 100m at the Division 1 State Meet.
Not to be lost in all Giacalone’s accolades on the track — she holds the school record in the 200m, the 300m and the long jump — were her contributions on the soccer field. Giacalone was a mainstay at attack during her time with the Fishermen.
While the Fishermen may not have enjoyed the same level of success this season as in some of Giacalone’s previous seasons, most notably 2011’s Division 2 North semifinal run, the senior co-captain was no less impressive.
The highlight of her senior season was likely the Fishermen’s comeback, penalty-kick victory over Melrose in the Division 2 North preliminary round last fall.
After falling behind early in the second half, Giacalone beat the Melrose goalkeeper midway through the frame to send the game to overtime.
Eventually, the Fishermen would prevail in penalty kicks — with Giacalone notching one of the team’s three successful penalty kicks.
Needless to say, all three programs are going to miss the level of skill and passion Giacalone brought with her each and every day.