One-on-One with stand-out runner Dana Giordano ’16

| 10/20/15 6:01pm

As the temperature drops and the foliage reaches its peak, the women’s cross country team prepares to defend its outdoor Ivy League Heptagonals title at the end of October. This week, The Dartmouth sat down with one of the team’s leaders, cross country and track star Dana Giordano ’16, to talk about running and her senior year at Dartmouth.

How did you start running cross country and track?

DG: I started freshman year of high school, and I had a really big surgery going into freshman year so I couldn’t play contact sports. I had played soccer and ice hockey in the past, but that winter I started indoor track and I ended up being okay at it so I kept going with it.

Do you prefer track or cross country? Why?

DG: It changes all the time. I think at Dartmouth, my favorite Heps championship is cross country because you all get to be on the same line in the same race. But at the same time I definitely like outdoor track and running fast. In track you get the “glory races,” and it’s a much better spectator sport. In high school, it was track, but in college I’d say it’s leaning towards cross country now.

Is your approach to this season different than in the past now that you’re a senior?

DG: I talked to my coach the other day about this, and I care just as much if not more about winning Heps for the third time, but everyday it is a little more challenging since there’s so much going on senior year and you’re seeing the end of your career in every race and every workout is the last of its kind.

You’re coming off of a great performance at the Wisconsin Invite a couple days ago. How does this help your confidence going into Heps and NCAA’s?

DG: It’s frustrating because I got the exact same place but I ran a lot faster. I have a target on my back [for Heps], but I have been beaten by people in the [Ivy] League, so it’s an interesting mix of “can I do it” and win. I don’t want to sound cocky, but I fully believe that I can. I care so much because it’s the one thing that I haven’t done in my college career, but people have been coming on very strong this year from other teams and it’s wide open. We haven’t lived up to our potential as a team at all and we’ve only had three meets, so I think there’s so much more that we have. But everyone else is saying that as well, so it’ll be a really fun and crazy day at Van Cortlandt Park at Heps.

What do you think is the toughest part of running for you?

DG: There are so many hard parts, but the hardest part for me is the fact that you have to do it everyday and you have to be consistent. There is not much room for breaks and recovery in between. I took a day off today and it’s the first time I took a day off in three weeks. Even a cross training day is a day of putting on your shoes and sweating. It’s been eight years, and it’s definitely been a grind.

What is your favorite part of the cross country and track teams?

DG: How we can be very weird all the time, and it doesn’t matter. I think we’re sometimes obnoxious about how funny we think we are. It’s a good release every day, and I’ll definitely miss my time at 3 p.m. to leave and remove yourself from Dartmouth for a little bit.

Favorite part of Dartmouth?

DG: The people, for sure. I think that’s what people miss a lot when you leave here and don’t fully realize.

This interview has been edited and condensed.