All Things Considered
3:19 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Dartmouth Runner Poised For Long-Term Success On Pro Circuit

Dartmouth College’s Abbey D’Agostino is turning pro now that her celebrated collegiate running career has come to an end. In four years at Dartmouth D’Agostino became one of the Ivy League’s all-time most accomplished. To learn more about her career and what lies ahead, I spoke to David Monti, editor and publisher of the New York based Race Results Weekly:

Credit David Monti, Race Results Weekly

This is an athlete that took a lot of people by surprise. What were the expectations when she first came to Dartmouth and what did she end up accomplishing?

I was completely taken by surprise. She was so below the radar that I had literally never heard of her until she started running in college. This is very unusual because runners in high school are already at a high level when they enter the NCAA ranks. Abbey was recruited by a coach previous to Mark Coogan, the head coach at Dartmouth. Coogan didn’t meet Abbey until the first day of practice. I didn’t start covering her until the beginning of 2011. It’s just extraordinary what has happened with her.

What is it that sets Abbey apart from her contemporaries in distance running?

Coach Coogan, who hit it off really well with Abbey, says he didn’t realize what kind of talent she had when she arrived at Dartmouth. After a month he told me that she might have some ability. After two months he said she might be a decent player in the Ivy League ranks. After three months he told me that she might be a national championship contender. Since then she has won seven NCAA distance running titles.  

What is the pro world like for runners and is it a difficult transition?

Abbey has done a wonderful job with the support of her parents to move into the pro ranks. She signed with a sports agent called Total Sports US in Tennessee. They very quickly moved her to a professional sponsorship contract with New Balance, based in Boston. Coogan is leaving Dartmouth to become a salaried coach under a New Balance program in Boston. He will continue to coach Abbey. Not only will Abbey keep her same coach, but she’s going to be in Boston close to her home in Topsfield, Massachusetts. So far it has been a great transition and everything should continue to move very smoothly for her. We will be seeing her this weekend in Sacramento at the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field National Championships where she will be running in the 5000 meter race.

Going forward, what might we be able to expect from Abby D’Agostino?

I expect her to contend for a spot on the 2016 Olympic team. She made the finals for the 5000m at the Olympic Trials in 2012, finishing in fifth place. If you do the math, she missed a spot on the team by.019. That’s how good she is. Next time around she’ll be four years stronger and four years better. I think she’s got a long and productive career ahead that I look forward to covering.