Athlete of the Week: Dan Galford

Each week this pre-season, we will interview one of the top returners from New York state.  If you are or know of any athlete who fits this description, and is willing to give an interview, please email

 Dan Galford has been breaking running records since grade school. Coming out of Staten Island’s close-knit sports community, the Monsignor Farrell junior is a precocious and hard-driving frontrunner.  As a sophomore, he immediately established himself as a player locally and regionally, with top finishes at the Manhattan College Invitational, the Chili Pepper Festival in Arkansas and the CHSAA Intersectionals, where he took third over the 2.5-mile course in 13:03. He finished 28th overall at the State Federation meet, leading Farrell to a 15th place finish.

Galford talks about team, what inspires him to run and his hunger to win.

What first attracted you to running?

When I was in the fifth grade I started running to get in shape for basketball.  My religion teacher at the time had tossed out the idea of track and I wanted to give it a try.

Tell me about running on Staten Island.

It’s nice, especially at Farrell because we’ve got a great team. It’s a nice place to compete.

Do you have a running community there?

We have a really nice, friendly running community on Staten Island. It’s kind of small, but it’s nice. We have a lot of schools here. There are a lot of teams to compete with, especially at the Staten Island championship.

What do you know about local running history?

I know that the CHSAA and New York City has a really good tradition. It’s a great place to run because there’s a really good history in cross country and especially track.

Are there any names from the past that inspire you?

I got to run my freshman year with Jason Stapleton of Curtis and both years I got to race Eddie Owens. Dan Lewis, from Farrell, the former Villanova captain, my coach talks about him a lot and I try to learn from his example.

How is the experience of running at Farrell?

It’s great. It’s the best.  We have a great chemistry and a really good team coming up.  We’re experienced; we’ve seen everything. We’re excited about this year and just eager to compete.

It’s a good chemistry, and we’re all really close.  Farrell is like a brotherhood on the cross country team.

Have you set goals as a team for this season?

We’d like to win as many titles as we can. Our major goal is a nationals appearance, being the first team from New York City to do that, that’s our goal. Just win titles, have some nice team performances, and have fun doing it.

What about individual goals?

I just want to have as many wins as possible and perform well at States and Regionals, especially since I had a bad race there last year. And go for every title that I can. That and I’d like to set my school and Staten Island record at Van Cortlandt Park and Clove Lakes Park, which is my home course.

How would you describe your approach to racing?

I’m just competitive. I want to win every race. I’m willing to fight for it. I think I’m tougher than the guys next to me. I’ve worked hard for it. My goal is always to win.

How was your experience at States last year?                                                                                                      

At States I didn’t think I ran well. I didn’t finish where I should have. I went out a little too fast. I’m looking to correct that this year.

How about the experience at Regionals?

Regionals is always a great experience being that it’s a great competition. I had a bad race at Regionals. I came in third on our team and didn’t contribute like I was supposed to. That’s another thing I’m looking to correct this year.

What inspires you as a runner? What motivates you?

My team. My coaches. My family. My friends. Everyone who supports us and supports me. My parents. My brother. And especially my team. They get me through a lot of the races. I ‘m afraid to disappoint them; we always work so hard. That always pushes me to my best effort.