Salute To Seniors - Danielle Bellino

Danielle Bellino
Lakeville North High School 

Personal Records:
200m- 26.04
400m- 57.41
800m- 2:10.56
1600m- 5:19.99
3200m- 11:43.91
4K XC- 14:36.20
5K XC- 19:29.20

How did you get started as a track or cross country athlete:
I started out running both cross country and track in 7th grade for Lakeville North when our high school coaches recruited me after watching me run at a middle school track meet. I had always liked to run long distance and I had done track all of elementary school. My mom really encouraged me to join as well. Cross country was a new experience to me and I remember crying after our team time trial when I was in 7th grade because I didn't like how much it hurt to run a two mile. But, I learned to love it quickly. For track, I started out running the 1600m and 3200m in 7th and 8th grade due to my success with cross country, but as I have gotten older I now focus on middle distance events such as the 800m and 400m. 

What was your most memorable competition:
The state meet last year was by far my most memorable competition. I was stuck running 2:17/2:18 for most of the year in the 800m and was getting really frustrated, but then in the prelim at state I ended up running 2:10.56 which was a huge surprise to me and a new school record. I was really happy with that performance. Also our 4x800m relay ended up placing 4th and we broke our previous school record we set the year before by .1 seconds. I am really close with the girls on my 4x800m relay from last year so it was amazing to share that experience with them and see our hard work pay off. Both individually and from a team perspective, state last year was very memorable and a huge success. 

Who were your biggest competitors in your track/XC career:
I have raced against so many amazing competitors over the years, but last year and this year has especially been very competitive in the 800m. I like to race against Emily Kompelien from Edina, Libby Halbmaier from Minnetonka, and Taylor Krone from Anoka in the 800m because they are so talented and we always push each other to run our fastest when we race at big meets. My teammate Ella Larson has been one of my big competitors in the 400m and I love racing with her because she is so determined and has so much grit. Patty Jo English from Lakeville South and I have been competitors since 7th grade cross country and track and she is someone I always like to race alongside due to the rivalry between Lakeville North and South.