Rutgers senior leads by example during historic indoor season
Vince Lombardi once said that if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.
One needs to look no further in finding a student-athlete who better exemplifies Lombardi’s assertion than Gabrielle Farquharson of the Rutgers women's track and field team.
The Rutgers senior sprinter/jumper earned First Team All-Big Ten honors and was recently recognized as one of the league’s indoor track and field Sportsmanship Award recipients.
The Big Ten Conference office recognizes Sportsmanship Award Honorees from each team who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. Additionally, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and demonstrate notable citizenship outside the sports-competition setting.
Earning all-league honors, Farquharson recently captured the conference title in the 200-meter dash, was the runner-up in the long jump and took third in the 60-meter dash at the 2015 Big Ten Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio, Feb. 27.
With these top performances, the Scarlet Knight set two school records and posted personal bests in all three events.
When asked about his thoughts on Farquharson receiving the Sportsmanship Award, head coach James Robinson did not hesitate to call it well-deserved.
“She’s not afraid of hard work,” Robinson said. “She’s self-motivated and the coach can’t teach that.”
Farquharson’s relentless spirit and determination has fueled her continuous progress throughout the season. Her refusal to become complacent has vaulted her at the upper-echelon of the sport.
In taking the conference crown in the 200-meter dash, Farquharson reset the Rutgers benchmark for the third time this season, clocking in at 23.50 seconds. She captured the title with a .06-second margin of victory and bested her previous time from the Valentine Invitational by .12 seconds.
Her time ranks No. 21 in the nation in 2015.
Surpassing her previous personal best of 6.31 meters set at the Metro Team Challenge and the Penn State invitational in January, Farquharson jumped 6.36 meters (20 feet and 10.5 inches) on her final attempt at the Big Ten Championships.
Missing the conference title by just 0.1 meters, her jump is currently ranked No. 13 nationally.
Farquharson set a new program record for Rutgers in taking the bronze in the 60-meter dash. Clocking in at 7.38 seconds, the Knight finished .02 seconds behind the Big Ten Champion and just .002 ticks behind the runner-up.
With this climactic top-three performance, she surpassed the previous school benchmark of 7.41 seconds, set by Shameka Marshall at the ECAC Championships in 2006.
Farquharson qualified for the 2015 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships where she will compete in the 200-meter dash and long jump March 13.
Distinguishing herself both athletically and academically, Farquharson serves as the quintessential role model for her teammates.
“She’s a leader by her actions and her words,” said freshman sprinter Bria Saunders. “Also, her personality — she’s just a very humble person and she motivates us.”
Farquharson tenaciously strives toward multifaceted successes. Even further, she does so modestly and righteously.
Emulating Lombardi’s profound words, Farquharson continues her pursuit of perfection and attainment of excellence.
With her, she carries a catalyst of inspiration for others to do the same.
“She’s a role model on and off the track,” Robinson said. “She did a great job from an academic stand point and she translates that to the athletics field where she’s clearly one of the best, not just on our team, but one of the best in the nation.”
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