As the track and field team at Fairleigh Dickinson University prepares for the Northeast Conference Outdoor Championships this weekend, sprinter Daniella Griffith is psyched to put out solid performances to close her senior season. The Brooklyn native and graduate of Medgar Evers Prep has one more year of eligibility but is unsure if she will compete again next year.
“I’m going to be here [at FDU] one more year for my master’s degree,” said Griffith. “I’m doing the four-plus-one program for criminal justice. You do your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years.”
She’s interested in becoming a crime scene investigator. Her undergraduate minors are biology and forensic psychology. Griffith is also considering working with juveniles in the criminal justice system. Returning to the track depends on her workload and other opportunities next year.
Throughout college, Griffith has typically run cross country in the fall followed by indoor and outdoor track. Her love of running began as a young girl in gym class and by age seven her mother had put her in a track club. She chose Fairleigh Dickinson for its interesting majors and its diversity. Navigating the pandemic has not been easy.
“It’s surreal that we’re able to be back outside and I’m truly grateful for that,” said Griffith. “The outcomes and benefits from being a student-athlete have made the hard work worth it. I got true friends that actually turned into family. I was able to network with outsiders within my major. I’ll be leaving with memorable moments.”
Griffith’s events are the 200 and 400-meter dashes and the 4×400 relay. She appreciates the team aspect of a relay. “We all share that moment of accomplishment together,” she said. “It becomes an amazing memory.”
She loves to watch USA Track and Field athletes compete at the highest level and appreciates fellow New Yorker Dalilah Muhammad. Like other track athletes from New York, Griffith spent a good deal of time on the subway going from home to school to the track and back home.
“It’s great to see things like that from people who are coming from the same area as me,” said Griffith, who grew up running at Red Hook Running Track and the Armory. “My first meet ever was a cross country meet at Van Cortlandt Park.”
May 18 is her undergraduate graduation. She’s both excited and nervous. “I want everything to be perfect,” she said.