Embodying Versatility in Collegiate Sports

Leaving an athletics legacy at Mount Allison through superstition with Taryn Greco

Few full-time university students can attest to being a varsity student athlete. Even a smaller percentage play on two separate teams. Should you find yourself in an auditorium of student-athletes asking how many of these individuals hold a prominent role on each team, one might look across the room to see Taryn Greco as the last woman standing. Greco, a third-year biology student and multi-sport varsity athlete at Mt. A, starts at fullback for the women’s soccer team and excels in women’s doubles on the badminton team.

Her athletic background comes from Sault Ste. Marie (SSM), Ontario, where Greco grew up and began playing soccer at just four years old. During her childhood, though, soccer was never her favourite sport; Greco always envisioned herself playing ice hockey at the highest level possible. One must wonder how the newly formed Professional Women’s Hockey League would have influenced a young girl from northern Ontario.


In addition to her impressive athletic involvement, Greco was involved in basketball, volleyball, and running at various levels. Not only has the young student-athlete played a tremendous amount of different sports, but she has also distinguished herself as a dominant force in each of them. During her high school years, Greco played AA hockey, the highest caliber of hockey attainable for someone of her age, along with qualifying for Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) eight different times in cross-country, track and field, soccer, and basketball. At the university level, Greco, as a soccer rookie in Atlantic University Sport (AUS), played significant minutes when the Mounties qualified for the playoffs. Later that year, she qualified for the 2022 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Badminton National Championships in the women’s doubles category with her then-partner Brianna Warwick.


Although Greco admits to only sleeping five hours each night, she lets it be known that her busy schedule “keeps [her] on track and stops [her] from going out too much or hanging out with the wrong crowd.” Her demanding academic and athletic lifestyle, recently added upon by her involvement in athletic therapy for the men’s varsity basketball team, would not be possible without the support of many inspiring individuals from her past and present. “It takes a village,” they say, which is true for the SSM-born-and-raised. 


Inspiring coach Daniel Scarpino has positively touched Greco’s upbringing and influenced the young woman she is becoming. Scarpino recognized Greco’s talent on the soccer pitch early, even though she was two years younger than the rest of his team, inviting her to practices and treating her with respect as though she were a full-time player. As one of the hardest-working, kindest people she knows, Greco maintains that “I just want to be like him.” Scarpino continues texting the inspired Mountie after every AUS game to check in on her. Another more recent motivator in Greco’s life was former fifth-year player and soccer captain Amanda Piltzmaker, who wore the number three in Greco’s rookie year before the latter decided to wear it once Piltzmaker, a natural leader, moved on from Mt. A. While initially intimidating, she set the tone for the team, which helped send them to the AUS playoffs that year. Like Scarpino, Greco says, “I want to be like Amanda when I am in fourth year,” whose on-field intensity was so high. Still, off the field, Greco retains fond memories of Piltzmaker spending time in the locker room with teammates going through difficult times.


I have had the pleasure of knowing Greco for nearly three years now on the badminton team at Mt. A, and during this time, I have never met somebody more superstitious than the subject of this player feature. Greco insists on straight hair for every game, doing everything on her right side before her left side, and eating a Cranewood breakfast sandwich eight hours before a game, and five hours before a match, she indulges in a bag of Cheetos. During warm-ups, Greco chews two pieces of green Trident gum before lifting her feet on a wall while listening to “I’m Good” by David Guetta. 


To each their own, but regarding this biology student-athlete who plays two varsity sports and works as an athletic therapist on the side, perhaps all of us should adopt one of Greco’s strict superstitions. They have helped her remain focused at Mt. A and well before her Sackville life, no matter the competition ahead of her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles