NCAA CHAMPION D'AGOSTINO JOINS TEAM NEW BALANCE
By David Monti, @d9monti
(18-Jun) -- There are certainly big changes ahead for seven-time NCAA Champion Abbey D'Agostino, but her coach and her running shoes won't be among them.
D'Agostino, the first Ivy League athlete ever to win an overall NCAA cross country title, wore New Balance shoes and kit throughout her career at Dartmouth College, and will continue to wear that brand for years to come thanks to a multi-year sponsorship agreement she signed recently with the Boston-based maker of running shoes and apparel. Moreover, the 22 year-old from Topsfield, Mass., will continue to be coached by Olympian Mark Coogan, her coach for four years at Dartmouth, under a new Boston-based training group also sponsored by New Balance.
"I felt an immediate connection with the values and people New Balance represents," D'Agostino said through a statement. "There is a collective spirit of joy and community; those are the conditions under which I have found this sport to be the most fulfilling and fun! It's an incredible blessing and privilege to join that kind of team."
Through negotiations carried out by her manager, Chris Layne of Total Sports Management US of Johnson City, Tenn., D'Agostino received an offer which Layne described as "very fair" from New Balance Running Sports Marketing General Manager John Evans. D'Agostino joins other New Balance stars Jenny Simpson, Brenda Martinez, Emma Coburn, Kim Conley, Sarah Brown, and Stephanie Garcia among others.
"We are thrilled that Abbey has chosen to join the New Balance running family," Evans said through a statement. "Her intelligence, character and personality make her a perfect fit for our brand and our select roster of fast Team New Balance athletes. Abbey is an incredible talent, and we look forward to helping her achieve all her running goals with superior New Balance product, innovation and support."
D'Agostino --who after winning the Ivy League titles at 3000m, 5000m and 10,000m last month-- finished third at last weekend's NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. She was beaten by both Texas senior Marielle Hall and Stanford Junior Aisling Cuffe to end her NCAA career. She was gracious in defeat.
"I think that's all I had today," D'Agostino told reporters after her race in Eugene. "I think I gave everything that my body had, and I can't be too upset with myself if that's what I had today."
D'Agostino will first wear the Team New Balance colors at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on June 27, where she'll run the 5000m. She finished sixth in those championships last year, and was the top collegiate finisher.