Boston College’s Nicole Clermont Named February Athlete of the Month

3/6/2019
 
USA Track & Field New England
Brighton, MA
March 4th, 2019
                          Boston College’s Nicole Clermont Named February Athlete of the Month

     USA Track and Field New England happily announces Nicole Clermont of Boston College as our February 2019 Athlete of the Month. Nicole earns this honor after a stellar performance at the 2019 USATF Cross Country Championships, where she placed 1st in the Women's’ Junior Race. This first place finish puts Nicole on the USA Junior XC team heading to the I.A.A.F World XC Championships later this month in Aarhus, Denmark.

     The Franklin, MA native explained she ran a tactical race, working alongside her fellow Boston College teammate, Kayla Smith, through 4K. With 1K to go, the pair of Eagles marched up the final hill and put some distance on the chase pack. At 500m to go, Clermont realized that a win was within reach, and chose to go for the win. Clermont reminisces, “With 500 to go, it was Kayla and I and I saw my goal of winning was right within reach. I went for it at this point and gave it everything I had. I ran as hard as I could till the line, I did not want to let up once I took the lead.” With the lead and the race in her control, Clermont would go on to break the tape in an impressive 21:14. Her teammate, roomate, and best friend Kayla Smith was not too far behind, crossing the finish in a 21:19. Oklahoma State’s Riley Rigdon placed third.

     Clermont is no stranger to winning, as over the course of her high school career at Franklin High, she would go on to be a 12 time Hockomock League Champion, and a Boston Globe All Star. What's up next for one of New England’s rising stars? Well, the I.A.A.F World XC of course! When asked about her goals at this race, Clermont was appreciative of the opportunity to represent the red, white and blue and hopes to break the top 50.

Full Interview Below:

1) Could you tell me a bit about your race at USA XC? Could you tell me a bit about your mindset heading into the race? i.e what you were hoping to accomplish, any goals you had set for yourself?

My race at USA XC was the first time I felt like I really believed in myself, my training, and my abilities. I was confident going in because I had visualized and imagined winning the race. I wanted to set my goals high and make the team, but winning was a dream. Coming in, I wanted to work together with my teammate and roommate, and make the team with her. I wanted to finish knowing I gave myself a shot and went for it, leaving with no regrets.

1a) The race was fairly close up until the end. At what point in the race did you realize a win was within reach?

I positioned myself very well stuck right next to the leaders up until 4K. At 4K Kayla and I took the lead and I felt confident and strong having her by my side. With 1k to go, I decided to go for it and make my move because I felt strong and wanted to be brave. I charged up the hill and Kayla came on my shoulder at the top. With 500 to go, it was Kayla and I and I saw my goal of winning was right within reach. I went for it at this point and gave it everything I had. I ran as hard as I could till the line, I did not want to let up once I took the lead.

2) What does it feel like knowing you are going to compete for your country at an IAAF event?

It is such an honor. I am so grateful for this opportunity and for USATF for giving me the privilege to represent USA. I am grateful for my teammates, Kayla, my coach, my parents, and everyone who’s helped me become the runner and person I am today. I am beyond excited and proud to represent USA.

3) What is the goal at I.A.A.F XC?

My goal for IAAF XC is to run with heart, courage, and represent my country to the best of my ability. I want to compete and give myself a chance. Top 50 is the goal, I know I can do that if I mix it up and believe in myself.

4) Your teammate, Kayla Smith, is also on the USA Junior Team, does this affect your mindset at all?

It is amazing that Kayla and I get to represent team USA together. There is no better feeling than achieving my goal and witnessing my training partner, roommate, and best friend achieve hers too. It is so cool to experience it together. Kayla helps to keep me focused on being the best athlete I can be because we work out together and live together. She inspires me.

5) What is your favorite event to compete in?

I love XC, and the 5k/6k because of the guts and mental toughness it requires. I also love the mile and 3k because they’re speedy, but my heart lies in cross country.

Please email any and all comments to tmazza@usatfne.org