Q&A with Nashua North’s Dantia Braccio
Early in the 1500-meter race at Sunday’s Division I Indoor Track State Championships, seeing Dantia Braccio well ahead of the pack, you had to wonder if she was just a “rabbit” in the race, used to make for a fast-pace, as often happens at world-class levels.
She couldn’t keep that up. Could she? Well, the Nashua North sophomore just kept motoring, all the way to her impressive state title.
Braccio slowed up just enough for us to check in to see how she’s adjusting to that new title of “State Champ:”
So, what’s it like being the top runner in the state at 1500 meters?
“It’s been really exciting. My teachers know that I run track. They all heard about the race and congratulated me on it. It’s been great.”
Take us through the race?
“Going into it, I hoped to be like third. And I was sick the entire week before. I just tried to get out with the lead girls, and it felt like they were going to slow. So I just went ahead. At some point you start thinking, ‘am I going too fast?’ But my coach was right there calling out the splits. And I wasn’t.”
As a team, you weren’t the only Titan to shine on Sunday. What was up with that?
“We took second as a team. I think we all believed we could do it. It was a great day.”
So you are the latest of the running Braccio sisters at North. Catch us up on your sisters?
“Nicolina is a senior on the Clark University cross country team. Arianna is a freshman on a cross country scholarship at Seton Hall.”
Sounds like running is in your blood. Where does it come from?
“My grandfather ran like 40 marathons and had a best time of like 2:45. My father was a great runner, too. He ran a 4:06 mile in high school and a 3:58 mile in college at Northeastern.”
So the older girls got you into running, what do you like about it?
“I like the freedom it gives me. I love running, always have.”
You run all three seasons. What is your favorite?
“I really like cross country, being on the trails and I am a pretty good hill runner. I like that a lot. On the track, my favorite race is the 1600 (outdoors).”
Obviously, the training can be tough. What is the best part of it for you?
“This summer, at our team training sessions, a lot of the older girls come back to run with us. I get to run with my sisters. And that’s a lot of fun.”
OK, enough about running Dantia. I know it keeps you busy, but what about school?
“I do well. I get As and Bs. My favorite class is English II. I like reading and writing a lot.”
With the confidence of winning the state title, what can we expect from you in the future?
“That will just motivate me to be faster and better.”