May 23, 2023
"I definitely wouldn't have stayed the sport if it weren't for the people that I had in my groups and my partner. You just can't underestimate the teammates, the training partners, they're so critical."
Angel Piccirillo graduated from Villanova University with a clear plan in mind: run fast, secure a contract, join a training group, represent national teams, and repeat the process. However, little did she expect that despite being a nine-time All-American and graduating in 2017, she would find herself on her fourth training group in just six years. She is finally hitting her stride as a professional athlete in 2023 setting a personal best in the 1500 in 4:07 this past April.
In this episode of More Than Running, we dive into Angel's remarkable journey as a professional, which started with her training in Philadelphia alongside Ajee' Wilson and Raeyvn Rodgers.
From there, she transitioned to the Oiselle's Little Wing group under the guidance of coach Lauren Fleshman, which was then followed by a stint with the Oregon Track Club in Eugene, Oregon.
Now, she finds herself in North Carolina, training with the Puma Elite Training group under the coaching of Alistair and Amy Cragg.
This journey would have tested even the most resilient of athletes, requiring immense persistence and the challenge of maintaining a long-distance relationship with her husband, Australian Olympian Patrick Tiernan. Through it all, Angel's unwavering self-belief in her own potential has been a driving force.
“I'm not crazy. I thought I could do these things. And now I'm like finally showing that side and like getting a taste of it. I’m ready, prepared, calm, and stable. All of these things that I just don't think I've had before. I can get back to work. I can do what I need to do, but you sometimes just need the sport to throw you a bone.”
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After a decorated NCAA career at Dartmouth and a stint as a pro with the Boston Athletic Association, Dana has relocated to San Francisco, where she continues to proselytize the sport, and dabble in new hobbies like gravel biking and skiing.