EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 12, 2014

Around the Horn with Danielle Gajewski Timberlane sprinter

By Dave Dyer
ddyer@eagletribune.com

---- — Once again, Timberlane senior Danielle Gajewski hasn’t missed a beat.

After an excellent season on the soccer field for the Owls, Gajewski jumped right into the indoor track season, placing first in two events in her first meet of the season, picking up where she left off last year.

In a six-team meet last week, she placed first in the 55 and the 300 and anchored the Owls to a first in the 4x200 relay.

A two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star in indoor track, specializing in the 55 and 600 meters, Gajewski was also an E-T All-Star last spring when she ran a 58.76 in the 400 meters.

We caught up with Gajewski, an excellent student with a 3.85 GPA and distinction honors, before the second phase of the indoor track season to go Around the Horn.

How long, if at all, does it take to get in sprinting shape after the soccer season?

“It takes time because soccer doesn’t get you in the type of shape you need for track.”

What do you enjoy more, indoor or outdoor track?

“I like outdoor track more. I like the 400, and I like being outdoors.”

What’s your favorite event indoors?

“I like the 600. I also like doing relays.”

On relays, is it tougher being the lead runner or the anchor?

“There is more pressure being first because you have to get off to a good start. I’m an anchor now, but I was first as a freshman.”

How hard is it not having, like a lot of New Hampshire schools, your own indoor track?

“It’s pretty tough running in the hallways. It’s hard on your legs and it’s hard on your breathing.”

You run most of your meets at UNH or Dartmouth — which one has a better track?

“Dartmouth is better because it’s more open and I like the (longer) 200-meter track. Also, it’s really crowded at UNH?”

What are your goals for the year in track?

“I want to run 1:40 in the 600 and get down to 57 in the 400.”

You’ve played soccer a long time. What do you like more, soccer or track?

“I like track because it’s more individual, you rely on yourself. But I do like soccer.”

What other sports did you do growing up?

“I used to dance a lot — tap and ballet. When I was younger, I did basketball and softball.”

What’s something people don’t know about you?

“It’d probably be the dancing. I enjoyed it a lot and I never thought I’d give it up for track. I did it my freshman year while doing track, but it was too much to do both. I had to make a choice.”

Any other athletes in the family?

“My brother Zach did soccer and track at Timberlane. He’s at Virginia Tech now.”

What do you do in the summers?

“I work at Camp Lincoln in Kingston. I started going there when I was 4-years-old. Then I was a CIT and I’ve been working there the last two years. I really like it.”

What are your college plans and beyond?

“I plan on running track in college but I’m not sure where yet. I’ve visited Stonehill, Lehigh and UMass Lowell. I want to get into occupational therapy.”

Danielle’s favorites

TV show: Pretty Little Liars

Movie: The Notebook

Book: The Great Gatsby

Food: Spaghetti

Restaurant: Buffalo Wild Wings — I went to one in Virginia.

Subject in school: Science

Teacher: Miss Guanci

Coach: Nathan Leveille

Type of music: Country

Place to vacation: Mexico. I’ve been there twice.