Alex LaRuffa has all of the tools at his disposal to do whatever it is that he wants to do in life. The senior two-time captain of the boys’ cross-country team and member of the boys’ tennis team is a four-year veteran of both sports at Falmouth High.
He’s a dedicated student with a variety of interests and he’s an Eagle Scout. During his Outside The Lines interview he will tell you that he’d be happy to take over the office of President of the United States for a week. If he stays on course, it could be longer.
The son of Cindy and William LaRuffa said that US History is his favorite subject in school. His drone is his most-prized possession. He’s earned the Xerox Innovation Award as well as numerous sports awards, including the cross-country Coaches’ Award, the league Sportsmanship Award, and the ACE Tennis Award.
In his spare time, Alex works at The Black Dog General Store. He said that “Top Gun” is his favorite movie and “Expedition Unknown” is his favorite TV show. Asia is his favorite band. On social media he likes to keep up with SpaceX, NASA, Tesla and DJI. His go-to meal is tortellini with a lemonade, followed by vanilla ice cream.
How did you get involved with cross-country running? How much do you enjoy it?
My friend Mason Drummey always talked during scout meetings about how much fun it was to be on the team. This intrigued me and I joined during Freshman Orientation. I enjoy cross-country a lot. The team camaraderie is the highlighting factor for me.
In cross-country your biggest opponent is the clock. How much time have you cut from your personal best since you first started running, and what are the keys to improving?
My first meet on the home course was 25 minutes, and my current PR on the course is 19:31. I have cut five and a half minutes from my time. The keys to improving are just keep repeating. The more you run, the better you will get. You can’t stop once the season stops.
Over the course of any given week a cross-country runner is putting in at least 20 miles per week running. What goes through your mind while you’re pounding the pavement and trails? Do you approach meets and training differently?
I tend to zone out while I’m running. I just let my mind wander. It is great for de-stressing after a long day. Meets are different from training. I push myself as hard as I can during the meets. Training is a longer run to add stamina.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
I would re-run my Twilight Invitational from last year. I ended up finishing that 5K in 20:01, which is my PR for a 5k. I really want to have a sub-20-minute 5K.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
Being the only freshman on the varsity tennis team, as well as winning the ACL the following year.
Who is the best teammate that you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
Evan Brodie. He was really funny and always knew how to combat the stress of a nail-bitter. He also knew how to hype us up during crucial matches.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
Yes, I have one. If everyone on the tennis team takes a bite out of an uncut pineapple, the team will win the match.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
Even though you can be competing individually, there is always a team to support.
Who has been your inspiration?
Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder for the fastest marathon.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
Coach Long and Coach Craig for pushing me to work my hardest.
You are involved in the Boy Scouts. Why were you able to stick with scouting all the way through, and how difficult was it to achieve Eagle?
The reason I was able to stick with Boy Scouts all the way through was because I enjoyed the activities that it offered. I love being in the outdoors and love many activities in the outdoors. I also enjoy leading my friends. Planning activities and trips is a lot of fun. It was a challenge to earn Eagle, but thanks to my dedication in scouting and enjoyment in the activities, it made the process fun. It was definitely a long process to earn Eagle, consisting of many years of work.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Is there somewhere in the world that you’ve always dreamed of going? Why?
The Capitol Building is the most interesting place I have ever visited. I love politics and history, so it was the perfect combination of the two. I have always dreamed of going to Australia. Sydney, as well as the outback, both have a lot to explore and have very appealing aspects to them.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
I am a lot stronger and more fit. I would give my freshman self advice of running in the winter, and in the summer. If I started doing that earlier, I would probably be a considerable amount faster today.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I am the same amount Italian that I am Irish.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
I would switch with the President of the US because I want to run the country. I think it is a really unique position that I wouldn’t mind upholding.
Describe your idea of the perfect day:
An early morning run, followed by a boat ride where I film with my drone. I would end with a hike up a mountain and camp there.
What are your post high school plans?
I would like to study either ocean engineering or aerospace engineering.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
Hopefully working for either NASA or NOAA.