Senior Snapshot, Ari Marks ’22: A Record-Breaking Senior Year
It’s no wonder that when Ari Marks ’22 thinks about what she’ll miss most after she leaves Wellesley, the first thing that comes to mind is “the beautiful lake trails.” Marks spent her senior year breaking records, earning medals, and achieving accolades in cross country and track. The 2021 NEWMAC and East Regional cross country champion and Athlete of the Year, she led the Blue to the NCAA Division III cross country championships in the fall, the squad’s first trip to the NCAA championships since 2015, where she earned All-America honors with a national runner-up finish.
During the indoor track season, Marks was named the New England DIII Championship Runner of the Meet and East Region Track Athlete of the Year, after winning both the 3K and 5K regional championships. She went on to earn NCAA All-American and National Runner-up honors in both the indoor 3K and 5K at the NCAA DIII indoor track and field championships. Marks, who now owns Wellesley program records in the indoor 3K and 5K and the outdoor 5K and 10K, has her sights set on the NCAA Division III outdoor track and field championships later this month.
Marks also received the Barbara Barnes Hauptfuhrer '49 Scholar-Athlete Award—the highest honor offered to a graduating athlete by the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics.
Two of her favorite Wellesley memories come from her first and last year, bookends to her experience. She enjoyed preseason for cross country her first semester because she and other first-years from the team “spent the first week exploring campus, and we went tunneling, and just did a bunch of fun things.” Her most recent favorite memory is from earlier this spring, when Wellesley hosted its first home track meet. “That was a really cool experience. You could really feel the team spirit. It was the best way to start my senior season,” she said.
Marks said being on the cross country and track and field teams has been the most important and valuable part of her Wellesley experience. “Just having that community to spend time with, in and out of practice, has been so nice,” she said. “It’s been such a central part of my routine every day. It’s somewhere to show up and work really hard, but it’s also my outlet to have fun and to not think about academics. It’s been so valuable to me.”
A political science major, Marks made sure to put in the effort needed to maintain consistently strong grades. She notes that her writing has improved “exponentially” since she arrived at the College. She shares her gratitude for the faculty: “I’ve loved, like, every professor that I’ve had here.” And she’s enjoyed “having really stimulating discussions with random people that you run into on campus,” as well as with her friends.