Abbey D’Agostino


School — Dartmouth (2014)dags-china
Country — USA
Hometown — Topsfield, Mass.
Event — 5,000m
Event Qualification — Tues., August 16, 8:30 am Eastern
Event Finals — Fri., August 19, 8:40 pm Eastern

Abbey D’Agostino walked onto the Dartmouth campus as a freshman, not knowing that four years later, she will walk out as the most decorated female athlete in Ivy League history and the modern day face of a successful Ivy League student-athlete.

When she graduated from high school in Topsfield, Mass., she had a mile PR of 5 minutes and was coming back from two years of illness (first mono, then iron deficiency).  But Dartmouth’s coach Maribel Sanchez saw something in this runner that she had to recruit her, and Mark Coogan was able to untap that potential when Sanchez left in 2010.

Fast forward to 2014 – D’Agostino ended her collegiate career with a total of 16 Heps titles (two in cross country, six in indoor, and eight outdoors), a number of conference records spanning the indoor and outdoor season, and 13 All-American honors and seven NCAA titles across all three running seasons – including the first ever Ivy Leaguer to win a NCAA cross country title.  She was not just all about her self-performance on the track – she was a student and a team player.  She was honored by USTFCCCA with student-athlete of the year awards for all of the running seasons, as well as plenty of regional student-athlete awards.  And with her Big Green teammates, they won their first Heps XC team title in 15 years in 2013 and was a part of several indoor DMR teams that made it to NCAAs and got All-American accolades.  One of her greatest Ivy feats was done in the name of the team – in her final Outdoor Heps championship, she won the 3km, 5km, and 10km events to try to rack up the points to win the team title.

D’Agostino really made her name in the track & field world at the 2012 US Olympic Trials where she had finished fifth in what was the most dramatic final of the meet – the women’s 5,000m.  She was just 20 years old and she missed making the 2012 Olympic team by 0.19 seconds.  Sure, it hurt at first, but she realized that she had room to grow.

And grow she did.  She followed Mark Coogan to New Balance after graduating in 2014 and began to run as a professional.  She began to have success in Europe, and in the summer of 2015, she made her first Team USA in the women’s 5km for the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.  She later made Team USA again for the 2016 IAAF Indoor World Championships in Portland, Ore., where she finished 5th in the 3km final.

Her bid for the 2016 Olympic team was dramatic once again.  First, she got a stress fracture not long after the Indoor World Championships, hampering her training and delaying the start of her outdoor season.  And then in the 5,000m final, she was edged out at the line again, finishing in fifth place once again.  In the end, D’Agostino was rewarded – two runners who had finished ahead of her had already earned their Olympic berth in the 10km and decided not to compete in the 5km, opening the slot for D’Agostino.

Additional Resources:

Social Media – Twitter | Instagram | Facebook Oral History of the 2012 Olympic Trials Women’s 5,000m – Part I | Part II | Part III
Union Leader: Dartmouth’s D’Agostino Is Going to the Olympics After All Among the World’s Best Battling the Heat (2015)
Dartmouth News: Abbey D’Agostino Earns Scholar Athlete of the Year Award (2014)
Runner’s World: Abbey D’Agostino’s Unlikely Domination at Dartmouth
Boston Globe: Dartmouth star Abbey D’Agostino signs with Team New Balance (2014)

– Mary Boggs