TRACK : SU’s Misenti reflects success through outlandish hairstyles
If Forrest Misenti is running well, the entire SU distance running team knows it. Misenti’s hair is the dead giveaway.
Now famous among track team members, his hair becomes more impressive and outlandish with every victory. To the junior, the crazy cuts are all about confidence during a race.
His latest style: a five-inch-long blond rattail.
‘I go into events and not even consider losing,’ Misenti said. ‘Cross country or track, it helps to have that mental edge, and I guess the hair is just a reflection of that.’
That mental edge came in handy in SU’s last cross country season, when he took sixth overall on the 8,000-meter course at the Big East championships. And that came as the Orange repeated as conference champs. Now in track season, Misenti has battled quad injuries, but one look at his hair shows his confidence hasn’t been hurt.
The current rattail cut is still a hot topic for SU distance runners and is a real ‘team uniter,’ SU track and field head coach Chris Fox said.
‘You’ll learn to keep away from him if his hair isn’t radical and crazy looking, but we all love it,’ Fox said. ‘Sometimes, I look at his head and wonder, ‘How in the world did he do that?”
Misenti’s running career may have Fox wondering the same. Misenti, a Haddam, Conn., native, was a high school cross country and track star, but prior to that, poor grades and waning interest in the sport caused him to be ineligible for the indoor season of his freshman year. When outdoor season began, Misenti wanted to quit track to try out for the baseball team.
That didn’t sit well with father Nicholas Misenti, a former runner himself. Nicholas took his son Forrest for his first race at age 6 — the 5,000-meter Lakeside Road Race in East Hampton, Conn.
When he saw his son sprint out to the lead and then hold off most adult runners at that young age, he knew Forrest had potential.
‘Forrest’s two brothers and his sister all ran in school, but they didn’t have the love of running that Forrest has,’ Nicholas Misenti said. ‘He has the motivation to push through pain, and that’s rare. We didn’t have to convince him much.’
It was a much-needed intervention. Misenti became a two-time high school All-New England and All-American in track and was a team captain his senior year. His coaches anticipated a full running scholarship for Misenti after he placed second in the 3,200-meter at the New England Championships.
When it came time for college recruitment, however, only a handful of Division II and Division III schools offered scholarships. Misenti insisted he wanted to run for a big-time program, and he did — as a walk-on.
Only after earning a scholarship at SU after his freshman year did Misenti exploit ‘one of the biggest perks of college sports.’
‘I had to keep my hair short at Xavier High, or else I got in trouble,’ he said. ‘Once I got away from the private school setting and arrived at SU, I was finally free’ to try out new hairstyles.
Misenti’s newfound liberation has been on display all year. He donated 15 months’ worth of hair to Locks of Love before sporting a ‘fauxhawk.’ Then came Big East championships and ‘the zipper,’ a Mohawk and mullet hybrid.
He’ll reunite his current rattail with another ‘zipper’ if this upcoming track season goes well.
Fox thinks it will. Misenti has shown much since he walked onto the team that improvement is ‘almost expected,’ he said.
‘It’s always nice when one of our runners does well,’ Fox said. ‘But for it to be a walk-on and also for it to be a kid like Forrest, it’s just that much better.’
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