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New Balance Newbies with Millie Palladino and Drew Piazza


Before we get into the thick of Olympic coverage this week, enjoy some good pure fun on the latest episode of Run Your Mouth with guests Millie Palladino and Drew Piazza of New Balance Boston. We get right into the ridiculous with parking ticket stories and high school shenanigans, but we also covered the experience of joining a professional team, transferring colleges, and making hard choices in the sport of track and field.

Drew and Millie both competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in June in their first year with New Balance, with Drew finishing 20thin the men’s 800m and Millie finishing 14th in the women’s 5k. Drew has run 1:45 for 800 and 3:56 for the mile, and Millie has run 4:32 in the mile and 15:14 in the 5k.

Drew grew up in Massachusetts and competed at the University of New Hampshire before transferring to Virginia Tech for the remainder of his collegiate career, and Millie grew up in West Virginia and competed at WVU before transferring to Providence College.

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Photo by Justin Britton

millie paladino and drew piazza


On being new to the New Balance Boston team:

Millie: “To be honest, I feel like the transition was pretty seamless. I never felt super out of place [….] I couldn’t be happier with how I feel like I fit in with everyone, and that’s a testament to both Mark and the girls.”

Drew: “It’s really rare to get a group of people where you can feel supported by everyone at all times [….] you have someone to go to for whatever you need.”

On honest feedback from teammates and coaches:

Drew: “We had a similar [injury] thing, where we both knew we shouldn’t be racing. But we can’t see it for ourselves; we see it for each other. And then Mark steps in and tells us to relax.”

Millie: “Sometimes you need somebody to tell you to just not be dumb.”

On transferring colleges:

Millie: “I was in a place like – ‘you’re either going to keep doing this, and doing it the right way, or you’re going to give it up.’”

Drew: “For me, when I was thinking about transferring, I was terrified. But as soon as you decide you have to transfer for your own good, it doesn’t become scary anymore. It becomes: you have to do this for your own survival.”

Millie: “It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve done, but one of the best things I’ve done for myself.”

On tough decisions:

Millie: “No matter what, people are going to have opinions about what you should do with your life. But if it’s something you want to do, it’s always worth it.”

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