When Danisha Craig goes to the track, she looks forward to bonding with her teammates while encouraging each other to work hard and push their limits. Her warm personality has been consistently tied by her fierce skills as a collegiate indoor/outdoor track runner. Danisha broke the 9 year standing 400m record in 2017 at the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic, at Bucknell University. The previous record was set by Holly Burns back in 2008. Danisha cut nearly half a second from the record time. She will continue to break the 400m record a total of three times
Danisha is a senior at Marist College from Bristol, Connecticut studying Political Science. She will enter the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field collegiate seasons as captain—and she has challenged herself to implement a change in atmosphere for the runners by increasing encouragement and dedication, leading by example.
‘I AM HERE WITH YOU,’—The track team has practice ora workout each day, whether it be lifting in the morning or running midday. Runners are allowed to miss practice if they have viable explanation for their absence. However, Danisha refuses to let her post-graduation plans interfere with the hard work she is putting into track. She had made it a point to go to as many practices as possible, if not all.
“As captain, I make it my priority to be (at practice). I am here with you, I am waking up at 5 am with you, to show them that nobody is above each other. We are here together and we are here to push each other,” Danisha said.
Danisha Craig is a senior from Bristol, Connecticut studying political science. Danisha has ran indoor and outdoor track each year for Marist as a Division 1 athlete, and is captain for her final indoor and outdoor seasons. She has challenged herself to implement a change in atmosphere for the runners by increasing encouragement and dedication, leading by example. Her extreme hard work and dedication has brought her to push her limits and to accept no limitations, allowing her to repeatedly break school track records.
Much of Danisha’s success can be credited to her dedication to track and the work she puts in at practice. Despite her other commitments demanding time, she remained focused on her goals each season, by not putting track on a back burner against academics and career development. It was this strong dedication that pushed her in breaking the 400m record.
“It was so surreal, coming into Marist I looked at the record board and I thought okay those times are pretty fast. Last year I locked in on track. I broke it once then twice again at the championship meet. It made me realize that if you accept no limitations, you'll have no limitations.”
Looking at her track accomplishments over the past three years, it would be unsuspecting that Danisha did not get her start in track until high school. However, it began in elementary school, her gym teacher, Lisa Galske, encouraged her to pursue running after noticing her above average speed during gym class.
“I really looked up to her, I did not have a lot of women as my teachers, so she was a leader in my life,” Danisha said. Because Bristol did not have a middle school track team, Danisha waited until entering high school to try out for the team. When it came to her decision on what sport to play, Danisha thought of her elementary gym teacher.
Danisha Craig's Childhood Image
"Last year I locked in on track—I broke it once then twice again at the championship meet. It made me realize that if you accept no limitations, you will have no limitations."
When she began highschool at Bristol Central, Danisha made varsity when she was 14 years old. For the next three years, Danisha played volleyball in the fall, and ran in the winter and spring. Her senior year, she quit volleyball to run cross country.
Danisha is the first person in her family to be a serious and collegiate athlete, so these experiences and opportunities that are presented are new to her and her family. “I noticed doors were opening from me [because of track] when it came to college I knew what I definitely wanted to do, it was an aspect of myself that I could put on my application.”
NO PULLING BACK—“My coaches at Bristol gave me an array of events, they gave me opportunities. Once I decided they trained me, I appreciate them because they already had an idea for me. I wouldn't have had four years of focusing on one race.”
Danisha encouragement proves effective, as the Indoor Track team round out ECAC Championships with four school records.
Following breaking a school record, some athletes may be content with the work and mark they made on the record board. However, Danisha does not see herself pulling back her efforts in training throughout the remainder of her senior year. She broke the record once, and there is nothing stopping her from working hard to continue to break them.