Finelli Formula At Work At St.Mary's

Swampscott resident and former Swampscott High cross country coach Dom Finelli is building a robust program at St. Mary's.


Passion for cross country still stirs in Dom Finelli.

And his formula for building a program — hustle, salesmanship and inspiration — still works.

The Swampscott resident and former cross country and track coach at Swampscott High reintroduced cross country at St. Mary's of Lynn last fall.

He used the same formula there as he did when building programs at other schools where he coached, including Swampscott.

St. Mary's, a grades 6-12 school of about 650 students, had been without a cross country program for 10 years. 

By intense lobbying Dom got 28 kids to lace up their running shoes in 2011.

"Mainly by calling almost every incoming student, emailing them and meeting students in the cafeteria the spring before our first season and selling our program to anyone who would listen got us to that number," he said. 

This year he redoubled his efforts and about doubled the number of runners.

The team has 51 members it its second season. They include Jennifer Grimes of Swampscott who transferred to St Mary's as a junior,  and sophomore Cullen Coyle who ran at Swampscott middle school two years ago.  

Cullen is projected as the team's 5th or 6th runner.  

One of its top runners for the girls is Sarah Ryan, an 8th grader from Nahant.  She leads a contingent of Nahant runners, including eighth graders Abigaill Frary and Caitlin Foley and 9th grader Casey Walton.

The coach's goal is to continue to grow the program with student-athletes who want to be part of a program that has a family-like atmosphere and who want to work each day. 

His formula relies on numbers, recruiting lots of runners. Lots of kids striving to improve forges an attitude that has a cumulative positive influence on all the runners.

Another step in the Finelli formula is dreaming big.

He says his team is very young, only three seniors, and has a lot of raw talent.

"If we continue to work hard we will shock some teams this year," he said, "and, who knows, maybe this young group will win a state title in a few years." 

A+ Schools September 25, 2012 at 11:15 AM
Terry, not to be disrespectful, but what does St. Mary's have to do with Swampscott? Mr. Finelli left the Swampscott School District as many other people leave their jobs and move elsewhere do the same. Personally, I'd like to see you write an article about Swampscott Track & Field, not St. Mary's of Lynn. There are many potential stories in Swampscott that need new or added coverage. Flooding issues, Open Space issues, New school building, MCAS, various schools Open Houses, our great teachers, the same kid being arrested twice in two weeks, etc. Writing about an ex-coach...low on the totem pole of news. Just my opinion.
Mark Chulsky September 25, 2012 at 12:47 PM
If Terry follows this criteria, then the article on Mr. Reeves won't make the cut either. I think, Terry does the right thing. Just my opinion.
Terry Date (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Yes, I understand your point, Allen, and thought about it before writing the story. In the end decided that Dom, a Swampscott guy who coached many kids in town, is of interest to people and his example of stick-to-it-ness is exceptional. Training for cross country is grueling and takes physical strength and inner strength, and to repeatedly build programs from scratch is worth knowing about so long as there is a local connection. Today's Swampscott High cross country coach, Jeff Bartlett, is doing exceptional work building his program, too. The Bartlett formula gets the kids excited for each other and their own progress and is producing results and we enjoy reporting on their progress.
Mary DeChillo September 25, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Great coaches can coach anywhere because they inspire passion in their players. Many adults involved in coaching claim "it's all about the kids"--when too often it is about everything BUT the kids. With Coach Finelli, it IS all about the kids.
Anne Brown September 25, 2012 at 04:34 PM
We loved Coach FInelli...both my kids ran for him...love hearing about how he is doing and how he continues to inspire...
John September 25, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Dom is a great guy and great coach. He would still be at SHS if the right thing was done ! What I find the most interesting about this article : The names of Swampscott or Nahant residents who had older siblings go to SHS but have chosen to leave !
track joe September 25, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Great article Terry! People who are writing negative comments aout this article are jealous of mr. Finelli and his success and do not want to hear how well he is doing. He is a great guy and people like him as person, not just a coach!!! I love to hear how he is doing. Do kids from swampscott do go to St, Marys?????? YES!
Vin. U September 25, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Low on the totem pole. Are you kidding me? I can not thank Mr. Finelli enough, for what he did for my kid. He wasn't the best runner on the team but He learned what hard work gets you and used that when he went off to college. Shame on you. I am happy that terry writes postive articles about people who care about the kids. Kids from swampscott go to St. Mary's and Mr. Finelli is from swampscott. Just my opinion.
maria D September 25, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Allen, you are the minority. I am so happy that my kid ran for Mr. Finelli and went off to college and is not be arrested numerous times. Terry writes great aritcles. Good job Terry.
rich s. September 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Terry, you always write great stories. Good Job.
Just a parent September 26, 2012 at 04:20 PM
The Finelli formula! Who cares about the Finelli formula? Just because he built a program that had only seven kids, girls and boys combined and when he was done had 130 kids. He.raised lots of money for the SHS sports program and gave kids the opportunity to be active in a sport no matter how good they were, who cares!!!! Just my opinion!
Nathan King September 27, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Dom Finelli always will be Mr Swampscott XC to literally hundreds of Swampscott runners and their parents. I sincerely hope that Dom's belief that its kids first before petty politics continues to bring him great success at St Mary's.
Swampscott grad. September 28, 2012 at 04:25 PM
It doesn't surprise me one bit. Mr. Finelli is great with kids and a great motivator!
justarunner October 02, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I miss Mr. Finelli. He was a good guy and a great coach!
Elaina F. October 03, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Hi Domenic It is great to hear you are doing well. Keep up the good work.
Marianne Hartmann October 04, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Terry I am sure your reader did not expect such a backlash from his negative comments. The reason is because there are so many true Dom fans among us. Dom changed more kids lives than just about anyone else I know. It is wonderful to hear that someone who did so much for the youth of Swampscott is continuing to help kids (no matter where they may be). Thanks for running the story.


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