Steady sophomore uses offseason to study sport
As with any runner, Brianna Deming entered last Friday’s race with the hope of being the first one to cross the finish line. What separated her from the other 132 competitors during the Metropolitan Championships was the fact that she translated her goal to the course to capture the women’s 5K title.
“It felt so good,” Deming said of winning the race. “I knew going into it that I wanted to win, so it was amazing to cross the line and finish in first place.”
While Deming’s accomplishments on the course this season are evident, her success translated from hard work and dedication. Coach Jan Merrill-Moran noticed her work ethic ever since she first laced up last fall for the Scarlet Knights.
“Her work ethic has always been there,” Merrill-Moran said. “Over the last year she has really become a student of the sport. She has learned more about the tactics of racing and how to use her energy effectively throughout the race. It’s exciting to see.”
Deming improved since earning team MVP honors last season.
The Webster, N.Y., native led the Knights in each of their three meets this season.
The Knights know how dedicated she is to helping herself and everyone perform the best they can.
“It’s awesome,” said junior Anjelica Brinkofski. “This is my first year becoming a main component of the team, and she is really pushing and helping me along the way. She has always been a great athlete and very dedicated since Day 1.”
Merrill-Moran also sees Deming’s commitment to her teammates.
“She is the No. 1 runner on the team right now,” she said. “She is a team leader. Even in the training she has started to come around and be an example. It’s fun to watch.”
Part of the reason why Deming and the rest of the team saw success early this season is the team’s commitment to Merrill-Moran’s training.
Deming credits Merrill-Moran — or “Coach Jan” as the team knows her — as a driving force in its strong outings this year in her second season as the assistant coach.
“We definitely have gotten a lot more training this year,” Deming said. “She has gotten to know us more, so she knows what I need as a runner to be better. You can see the positive energy, and everyone is just doing so well.”
As a pharmacy major, the sophomore takes academics as well as her training seriously, and Merrill-Moran understands the challenges that go with it.
“She’s a pharmacy major, so there is a lot of time management going on,” Merrill-Moran said. “We’ll have to wait and see how the studies come around, but so far, so good.”
Deming looks to continue her impressive performances Saturday at the Connecticut Invitational. The meet is the last event before the Big East Championships in Louisville, Ky. Deming and the rest of the team are excited to see how their success transfers to the rigorous competition the conference presents.
“I think with all of the improvements this year, we will be better prepared for the Championships as long as everyone stays healthy and keeps doing what they have been doing,” Deming said. “I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t improve from last year. It’s inspired me and everyone else to work harder and try to be as good as the other runners in the Big East.”