Freshman makes impact on cross country team

Freshman nick garifalos (right) has made a strong impact on the men’s cross country team. (Photo courtesy of Laser Pride)
Freshman Nick Garifalos (right) has made a strong impact on the men’s cross country team. (Photo courtesy of Laser Pride)

Tristan Davis – 1851 Staff

Had you approached Nick Garifalos as a sixth grader in Spotswood, New Jersey, he may have told you that cross country was just a relaxing, afternoon activity to help him stay in shape. Nowadays, the freshman has a different take on the sport.

Garifalos has been nothing short of fantas- tic in his first year with the Lasell cross country team, earning top 10 finishes in two out of the three races the team has participated in. He placed 10th at the St. Joes 6k, tallying an im- pressive time of 22:56. Just a few weeks later he placed seventh at the Fitchburg State invitational and first among his teammates.

The most recent meet the Lasers at- tended was the University of New England In- vitational, an 8k race holding a field of roughly 146 runners. Garifalos finished with a time of 28:36, which lead him to 34th place. This time was especially significant to Garifalos, who al- ready beat a personal goal for the year.

“This race surprised me because my goal was to break 28:30 by the end of season, and I practi- cally hit that time the third race of the season, so it was an amazing feeling crossing the line with a time like that,” said Garifalos.

When he’s not running, Garifalos enjoys go- ing into Boston with friends, and hanging out in his dorm doing schoolwork. Garifalos said he chose Lasell because of the small campus, classroom set- ting, and location in Massachusetts.

As for the rest of this season and the many more to come, Garifalos has lofty goals for himself. “This year I would like to be considered one

of the top freshmen in the GNAC for cross country, and I would like to modify my goal to hitting 27:30 by the end of the season,” said Garifalos.

As for long term plans, Garifalos’s are simple. “Over the next four years I would like to have won a GNAC title for cross country individually and as a team,” said Garifalos.

Garifalos doesn’t plan on stopping there. He also eyes a Division III national appearance.

“This would be an experience like no other and I have always dreamed of racing on the national stage where you have to toe the line with some of the best runners in the nation,” said Garifalos.

However the rest of the fall season may play out, Garifalos has certainly made a name for himself as an athlete and a student. No matter the terrain, the weather, or the chance of thunder, the freshman from New Jersey will always keep running.

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