Erin Farrell reflects on how sports, music and other extracurriculars have shaped her time at Ursinus, and shares goals for the future
Most people’s parents tell them at a young age that losing is okay, as long as you’ve done your best. Erin Farrell’s mom is one of those parents. Her father is not, and that’s a big reason why she’s been able to excel in sports and academics throughout her life. Without his supportive advice for improvement, Erin would have a lot less incentive to excel in the many activities she participates in across campus: the women’s soccer team, women’s track and field team, B’naturals a cappella group, and a resident advisor for first-year students.
A senior sprinter who has been able to win not just one, but four Centennial Conference Championship gold medals for the women’s 200 meters during her tenure at Ursinus, it can be said that Farrell is good at what she does. On Feb. 12, 2016 at the David Hemery Valentine Track and Field Invitational at Boston University, Farrell exceeded expectations. Running the women’s 60 meters and 200 meters against teams from around the country, she was expected to compete in these races and do the best that she could. She placed first in both the women’s 200 meters, and broke an Ursinus record for the fastest 200m time. The previous record was 26.4 seconds, and Farrell set the new record at 26.2 seconds. 0.2 seconds that made history.
With track and field ingrained into the Farrell family structure, Erin was running fast at a young age.
“When I was little my parents said that I would run up and down the block just … to run. And they would be done running and go inside and I’d still be outside running around,” Farrell remembers.
The Farrell household was bursting with competition for as long as Erin can recall. The whole family would play competitive games outside in the yard with their dad, and her two sisters kept her on her toes, especially being on two of the same sports teams in high school with one of her sisters. Athletics were not the only thing the Farrell girls felt pressure to succeed in, though.
“Our parents pushed us to be the best we can be and go above and beyond,” Farrell said, “not just with sports, but academics, too. My parents did well [in school], they were valedictorians … It makes us want to [do well], too.”
Today, Erin is not only a member of the Ursinus track and field team; she is a record setter. She is not only a member of the B’Naturals a cappella group, she is the president. And on top of all this, she is an RA and a member of the women’s soccer team. This demonstrates her passion and her desire to be the very best. Her determination has not gone unnoticed. Melissa Arrisueno of the class of 2016, and a former soccer teammate, remembers one game that showed this.
“I remember one time she accidentally passed the ball to the other team and she ran so fast to get the ball back from the girl she passed it to, and she did. Most people would just accept the fact that they let the ball go and move on.”
But Farrells has determination in her blood. Her family imparts these traits on her every day. In moments after her track meets, when she talks to her family, her competitive edge and work ethic are kept strong.
Her mom says, “no matter what you do, you’re a winner to me.” But with the pressure of her father, knowing that she could have done better is what makes Farrell strive to be number one.
Her work ethic is so admirable it impacts the people around her. Beyond that, she possesses other character traits that people appreciate. Chloe Johnson-Hyde, class of 2017, one of her previous track and field teammates, spoke of Erin’s generosity and work ethic: “If she had one glass of water left on earth and somebody else needed it, she would give it to them. She is somewhat of a perfectionist, but she doesn’t make other people feel bad about how they do things.”
Someday, Erin Farrell will be helping provide children with therapy through music, sports, or other hobbies. Her generosity will extend further. She will have the chance to instill the same determined spirit in young children that her parents once instilled in her.