DiCrescenzo Hitting The Right Notes

Delilah DiCrescenzo will represent the U.S. at the World Cross Country Championships in March. Photo: PhotoRun.net

She just finished sixth at the U.S. Cross Country Championships.

From: NYRR Media

Eleven years ago, “Plain White T’s” lead singer Tom Higgenson met Columbia University steeplechaser Delilah DiCrescenzo and declared that he was going to write a song about her.

He did. “Hey There Delilah” reached the top of the Billboard charts and was nominated for two Grammy awards in 2008.

It changed DiCrescenzo’s life, as she writes in the February 18 issue of ESPN The Magazinebut it brought its own challenges.

“I was lacking confidence in my running,” she wrote. “I wasn’t yet validated in my sport. I hadn’t proven myself. During competition, I didn’t want to feel scrutinized and have people root against me.”

She has since proven herself. Last week, DiCrescenzo, 29, finished sixth in the U.S. cross country championships to automatically qualify for a spot on Team USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, to be held in Poland next month. In 2009, she finished that same race as the second U.S. woman and 38th overall; in 2011, she made the U.S. team for the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in the 3000-meter steeplechase, although she was unable to compete because of an injury.

DiCrescenzo grew up in Illinois, but she came to New York City to attend Columbia, where she graduated from in 2005. After college, she trained in the Philadelphia area for a few years before moving back to New York City, where she now lives near Columbia’s main campus. A New York Road Runners member, she trains with the New Jersey–New York Track Club and has won two recent NYC road races, running 50:47 to smash the course record at the Ted Corbitt 15K last December —the longest race she’s ever run—and then breaking the tape in the four-mile Emerald Nuts Midnight Run on New Year’s Eve in 21:07.

She also won the historic Manchester (CT) Road Race on Thanksgiving Day last year.

It’s all music to her ears.

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