Starting early, Nicole Borofski ’17 was a natural runner.
“In elementary school, you had to run the mile, and I remember always beating other people,” she recalls. “I knew I was going to like cross country.”
She joined her school’s program in sixth grade and excelled through middle and high school, earning all-state honors and serving as a captain. By graduation, she was set to join Stonehill’s cross country as well as its indoor and outdoor track programs, though she set her expectations low.
“Everyone comes here as the best or second best on their high school team. We all come together, put our egos aside and develop a team mentality that helps us all develop,” Borofski notes.
Her coach, Karen Boen, and teammates pushed Borofski to early success: She earned NE10 Rookie of the Year. Since then, she has risen to lead the team and the region. Including indoor and outdoor track, Borofski has earned All-American honors eight times, and in her final cross country season this past fall, she won both the NE10 and NCAA Division II East Regional Championships and placed 19th nationally.
But being the best doesn’t just take talent, it takes planning, diligence and hard work. To ensure she peaks at the right time, Borofski sits down with her coach at the beginning of each season and lays out her training and race schedule, deciding how and when she is going to push herself.
“Most women don’t do two a day, but every Tuesday and Thursday, I am up to run before we lift. And then we do a team workout in the afternoon,” she says.
Building mental toughness is critical come race day, when competition is fierce and signs of weakness can be all the edge an opponent needs to win.
“I focus on form, relaxing and staying composed because you don’t want somebody else’s coach seeing me and yelling, ‘She’s dying! She’s dying!’”
Borofski thrives on competition and has set her sights high for her final season of track and field. “Every race, I challenge my body to see if I can get faster than the last time I ran.”
If she keeps pace with her Stonehill career thus far, she’ll do that and more.