“Danielle is the type of student athlete who leads by her actions. She is one of the hardest working kids I have ever coached. Danielle always looks for ways to make herself and the team better. Last year on her recovery days, she began to fool around with the throwing events. Now she is our best javelin thrower and one of our top shot/disc throwers in addition to being one of our top long sprinters. I have the privilege of having her in class this year as well as on the the track and field. Her work ethic in the classroom mirrors her work ethic at practice. On meet day Danielle is one of the few kids on our team who make us wish there wasn’t a four-event limit for athletes. We could use her in the 200, 400, 4×400 and all three throwing events.” — Coach Gerry Ryan
Have you always been interested in track?
It wasn’t until high school that I took an interest in track. I started running track to stay in shape for soccer, but now, after running track for three years, I do it to get faster and beat my times from the previous year.
Do you have any routines to help you mentally prepare for a race?
Before a race, I just try to calm my nerves and focus on the race.
What goes through your mind when you’re running?
When I am running, I tell myself that the faster I run, the faster the race will be over with.
Who are your role models?
My parents are my role models. They are always at every track meet on the sidelines cheering me on.
Have you set any goals for the upcoming county and state meets?
By the end of this season, my goal is to run sub 60 seconds in the 400 meter dash.
Could you tell us a few special memories from your career?
At practice one day, Mr. Ryan came up to me and asked me if I wanted to throw shot put in a relay meet the next day because one of my teammates needed a partner. I said yes and was given a quick lesson on how to throw shot, since I had never thrown in any of the field events before. The next day, at the meet, my teammate and I ended up medaling to the surprise of both of us.
Do you participate in any other school or community activities?
Along with track and field, I play soccer and help teach younger kids about track and field and soccer through the town camps and recreational programs. As I had to give up playing volleyball to play soccer, I still help my mom coach the Nutley travel volleyball team during my off season in the winter. I also volunteer at a sports program for special-needs children every week and the toddler sports program on the weekends.
What are you doing for fun these days?
I enjoy hanging out with my friends whenever I have time because between track and soccer, I am busy most of the time. I also enjoy taking naps in my free time to catch up on sleep.