Player of the Week: Briana Gallinari

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

When Lake Region varsity cross-country coach Dan Dors first saw Briana Gallinari run, he immediately saw a bright future.

“She’s going to be a good one,” the veteran coach said.

So far, the coach was right on target. Briana was the team’s top runner in the annual Lake Region Invitational to kick off the new season. Coach Dors believes that if the LR sophomore stays healthy and continues to develop, she could emerge as one of the top runners in the Western Maine Conference.

“Briana is always at practice and always gives 100%,” he said. “She has a strong work ethic and because of it has become a leader on our team. Briana is dedicated to cross country and is a pleasure to coach.”

In recognition of her strong work ethic, determination, commitment and good sportsmanship, as well as being “a very good student,” Briana is this week’s Lake Region Boosters and Hancock Lumber “Player of the Week.” Each week, a Lake Region athlete is recognized for his/her dedication (does more than what is asked), work ethic, coachability and academic good standing. Recipients receive a specially-designed T-shirt, sponsored by Hancock Lumber.

The Gallinari File

Name: Briana Gallinari

Year in School: Sophomore

Town: Bridgton

Parents: Arlene and Joseph Gallinari

School Activities/Sports: Cross-country

Q. Why did you choose this sport? My two best friends convinced me to in the eighth grade, and I love it so I’ve kept going.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish this season? I would like to make States. I am currently battling some injuries — such as shin splints, tenosynovitis (the inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath that surrounds a tendon. Symptoms of tenosynovitis include pain, swelling and difficulty moving the particular joint) and blisters. I’m working to get better while also trying to run through it. By the time States come around, I hope I’ll be ready.

Q. What do you enjoy the most? I simply run for the joy of running. It’s a freeing, liberating feeling. It’s utter bliss for me.

Q. What do you like the least? I honestly can’t find one thing about it I don’t like. I love it all. Well, except for my injuries, of course.

Q. What makes you successful? I refuse to give up. I will not cheat myself of a victory by pitying myself. I will never walk away from cross-country — ever, until I can’t move anymore, I’ll be running.

Q. What would your dream moment be? To make it to States and have my friends that got me into it (cross country) to be there to see what they helped me accomplish.

Q. What has the sport taught you? The love of a team. To push it to your limits and then test them. To never give up, and that you’re never just running for yourself out there. You’re running for your team and school and coaches, too.

Q. Who has inspired you? My whole team inspires me, but mostly my two best friends who got me into it. Samantha and Nicole Marucci. They ran until last year when they were forced to stop because they ran so hard that their shin splints turned into stress fractures. They were so severe it hurt them to even walk. Yet, they insisted on running until they literally couldn’t anymore.

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