The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

‘Olivia’s Legacy’: Running Star at DePaul Crushes Records

Provided by DePaul Athletics
DePaul cross-country and track and field star Olivia Borowiak competes in the Loyola Lakefront Invitational September 29, 2023, in Chicago.

As a young teen, gymnastics was Olivia Borowiak’s sport of choice. Then, while running warm-up miles, she discovered she was fast and decided she wanted to run. 

That’s when she joined the cross-country team in middle school.

“And everything came from there,” said Borowiak, now a graduate student and running star who has been attending DePaul since 2019. In that time, she has broken numerous records in the women’s running categories. Her last conference competition was the Big East Track and Field Championships, which concluded Saturday, May 11, at Villanova.

With a bachelor’s degree in writing and rhetoric, she is now working on a master’s in creative writing and publishing with a schedule that, she says, gives her enough time to train. 

She jokes and calls herself an “athlete student.”

“Running is going to be the structure of my day, then (I use) any free time I have doing work or my hobbies,” Borowiak said.

In her time at DePaul, she has become the university’s record-holder in the mile run, 3000-meter run and the 5000-meter run in women’s indoor track and field. In 2023, Borowiak and Nina Amicon were among the first DePaul cross-country athletes to receive All-Big East Second Team honors at the Big East Cross Country Championship.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Borowiak said. “I never thought I’d be able to accomplish this much, and I’m really happy that I did.”

Senior Meghan Dieball was a freshman when she met Borowiak and has enjoyed being her teammate since then.

“She’s a good leader,” Dieball said. “She’s definitely someone we all look up to in training and just in general.” 

Geoff Wayton, one of DePaul’s cross-country and track coaches, agreed that Borowiak “leads by example.” Wayton joined DePaul in December 2021 and met Borowiak shortly after

“She’s not a vocal leader,” Wayton said. “But as she’s gotten better, everyone around her has gotten better too, so that’s Olivia’s legacy.”

Throughout her career in running, Borowiak received many additional awards including: 2022-23 All-Region Honors at Midwest Regionals; 2023 All-Big East Second Team; NCAA Woman of the Year nominee in 2023; and 2022-23 Big East All-Academic Team.

So far, her favorite moment of her college career has been qualifying for Nationals in cross-country in 2022.

“It finally felt like I was doing something I was always meant to do,” Borowiak said.

Off the track, her love of reading and writing has inspired her to one day write a full-length novel.

“A novel where I juxtapose high school to college running and the unity of the team,” Boriak said. “And then my other idea is kind of like a tragedy/romance.”

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