The relationship between a coach and an athlete is extremely special. The level of trust, communication and influence can help shape an athlete not only in their sport, but life overall. Justine Murdocca of Worcester State knows her cross country coach has given her skills she will use long after college.
Murdocca, a junior from Milford, Mass. is currently a nursing major at Worcester State. Her desire to help those that can't help themselves made her want to go into the nursing field. When picking a college, it was the nursing program that drew her to the campus while also helping her get a job at UMass Memorial Hospital. The area itself also drew her to the campus.
Although after college she hopes to work as an ICU nurse, another goal for Murdocca is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. She knows that one day she won't be a collegiate runner and training for the Marathon would be a great way to continue running, a passion she loves.
Besides her time in the classroom and running, she is a member of Trew Friends, a club at Worcester State that promotes organ donation and the students nurses association. One of her favorite research projects she participated in was with 15/40, a cancer research group that promotes the importance of early cancer detection between the ages of 15 and 40.
Competing with the Lancers cross country team has provided a great stress relief for Murdocca. Last weekend at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational, she ran a minute faster than last season with a 5k time of 20:31. During the 2015 MASCAC Women's Cross Country Championship, Murdocca finished 28th with a time of 21:55 over the 5k course.
Over the past three years, it has been Worcester State cross country coach Gary Jusseaume that has pushed Murdocca to be a better runner. His support, patience and dedication to not only the team, but each individual runner has helped her getting better each season.