That’s the amount of time it took for senior Danielle Barbian to cross the line and win the 60-meter title at the Lobo Collegiate Invitational this past weekend.
It’s also the time that appears in the Harvard and Ivy League record books. The Sussex, Wis, native’s performance in New Mexico matched her record-setting mark which won her the Ancient Eight title the past season.
In addition to her record-matching performance in the 60-meter dash, Barbian ran for a personal best 24.46 seconds in the 200-meter race, .28 seconds faster than her previous best. The senior’s performance in the 200 ranks fourth all-time in Harvard history.
The senior was able to post this time competing against unfamiliar opponents such as Arizona, Houston, and New Mexico.
Head coach Jason Saretsky believes that Barbian’s ability to perform at her best even when not facing traditional rivals of the Northeast highlights the senior’s talent.
“I think it’s a great sign of what’s still to come,” Saretsky said. “To go out of her comfort zone, facing competition she had never seen before, particularly in the sprints where one of the biggest things is staying relaxed and staying confident. For her to be able to do that in that situation speaks to the championship runner that she is.”
In track and field, it’s difficult for runners to come close, let alone match or break records in sprint events. With races such as the 60-meter dash being decided by miniscule differences, it’s hard to consistently bring times down.
But Barbian has done just that. The senior’s times in the 60-meter dash have gone down with each race. After starting the year with a 7.54 runner-up finish at the BU season opener, she clocked in at 7.53 seconds at the Beantown Challenge en route to her first title of the season before her mark in New Mexico.
Small technical improvements make all the difference, from achieving a good start to accelerating deep in the race with the use of a quick turnover.
This has helped Barbian not only in the 60-meter dash, but also in the 200-meter race, an event in which the senior has been setting personal records despite having run the event only a few times before this year.
The ability to be successful and compete in both short and long sprints emphasizes the versatility that the senior brings to the squad.
“She ran a better technical race last weekend, [especially] in the 200,” said women’s sprints coach Kebba Tolbert. “That really signals how her mental approach to the sport has changed over the last year. She’s much stronger mentally to where she can become a factor at the conference level in the 200…It’s a really good indicator of how far she’s come.”
According to Saretsky, the constant improvements by Barbian demonstrate the effort and hard work that the senior has put in this season. Continuing these efforts is key for Barbian to win more titles and be triumphant at meets such as the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships later on in the season.
“We try to set up our student-athletes to perform their best when it matters the most, which is at the end of the season.” Saretsky said. “Right now she’s just really putting in the work and training at a really high level to prepare her for the end of the season.”
With a critical portion of the indoor season coming up for the track and field team, it will be key for all runners to deliver good results, especially Barbian. Tolbert believes that the senior will be one of these key runners and that the senior has the potential to deliver a great performance and leave a lasting impression on a program of which she has become an integral component.
“She’s going to show up and give you her best,” Tolbert said. “The effort is there…. You can just see it in how she approaches the sport, the way she takes care of herself on and off the track. Just taking care of those little things sets an example for the rest of our group.”
—Staff writer Julio Fierro can be reached at email@example.com
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