Farquharson jumps out to impressive start
When Gabrielle Farquharson entered her freshman year at Rutgers with the women’s track team, she had many hurdles to clear before she could get on the track.
Early on in her career as a freshman, she suffered a knee injury that sidelined her until the spring.
Hard times can make or break a student-athlete. Farquharson chose the first option.
“My dad had told me that trying to speed up my recovery wouldn’t help in the long run, and I’d end up being more hurt, so it was really all about self-discipline,” Farquharson said of her approach to recovery. “It was really me listening to my trainer, my coach and my doctors. That way, I’ll heal quickly and be able to perform at my best.”
The Williamstown, New Jersey, native used the lessons she learned to her advantage to become one of the best athletes on the team.
That, combined with her qualities as a leader, led to head coach James Robinson electing her as one of three co-captains for the Scarlet Knights.
“She’s a very special young lady, great leader, role model, competitor and has a tremendous work ethic,” Robinson said. “Gabrielle definitely ranks in the top three student-athletes that I’ve coached here at Rutgers.”
The athletes agree with their coach.
“Not only is she an incredible athlete, but she’s a really positive energy to the team,” said freshman teammate Deanna DiLandro. “She is always cheering everyone on and keeping people motivated.”
At this point in the season, the Knights have participated as hosts in the Rutgers Invitational and on the road at the Penn State Invitational.
And in both meets, Farquharson has taken first place in the long jump.
“Winning at the Rutgers Invitational and the Penn State Invitational, along with breaking some personal records, were really strong confidence boosters on my end,” Farquharson said. “It was nice to win in front of the home crowd with my family in the crowd, but winning at Penn State felt just as sweet.”
At the Penn State Invitational, she also broke a school record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.62 seconds.
“One of my goals for the season was to break 24 seconds [in the 200m dash], and to do it while breaking a school record was a great feeling,” Farquharson said.
Now in her fourth year at Rutgers, Farquharson has endured a lengthy journey since arriving with wide eyes as a freshman.
Out of all the things she has learned, there is one that has always stuck with her — and that’s patience.
“Being patient is very important in track,” Farquharson said. “It’s a sport where you can’t get on the track and say, ‘I’m gonna PR today.’ It’s definitely a mental sport.”
While Farquharson’s lasting impact may be measured in records, it will also be remembered for an impact that runs even deeper.
“Gabrielle got off to a rough start her freshmen year and then really turned the corner outdoor freshmen year. Each year after that, she’s come back hungrier to achieve and training better,” Robinson said. “Now, [the underclassmen] are seeing the manifestation of her work, thus far. This could be them, and with hard work and dedication, they may be able to achieve as well.”
For updates on the Rutgers women’s track team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.