EASTON – The first time she competed for Stonehill College as a runner was Sept. 7, 2013, in Manchester, N.H.
Nicole Borofski of Plymouth was a freshman member of the Skyhawks cross country team when she placed eighth at the Shacklette Invitational, hosted by Saint Anselm College.
Little did anyone know at the time, but it was the initial step in an unforgettable cross country and track & field career for the Plymouth North High School graduate.
Borofski went on to win 15 Northeast-10 Conference titles during the fall, winter and spring seasons while becoming a regular participant at NCAA Division 2 meets and the best Stonehill female runner ever.
This week, Borofski has one last piece of business to attend to as a Stonehill runner.
Her illustrious career comes to an end at the NCAA outdoor meet in Bradenton, Fla., where Borofski – already an eight-time All-America performer to own the Stonehill women's record – competes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase race.
It marks the 10th and final time Borofski will be running at a national meet and her third in a row in outdoor track & field.
"I hope I always remember how hard it is to get somebody like her," said Karen Boen, who has coached her in cross country and winter and spring track. "She's everything you want in a student-athlete and a person. She's the total package.
"She's talented, she's tough, she's dedicated, she's a great person, she's not cocky. She's just a great kid.″
Borofski, who is seeded eighth out of 21 runners, will be trying to become an All-America in cross country plus winter and spring track in the same academic year for the second time.
She placed 19th at the national cross country race and was seventh in the mile during the indoor track season.
The list of achievements is a long one for Borofski, whose career took off starting in her sophomore year.
"That's when I started to think I had a shot at some good things," said Borofski, who received a degree in health care administration on Sunday afternoon.
"I bought into the program and the values that the coaches have. I think that really helped. The older kids my freshman year had a big impact. They were so dedicated and committed.″
When she arrived at Stonehill, Borofski didn't set lofty goals for her running career.
Accomplishing all that she did the past four years was not really on her radar in 2013.
"The other day, coach handed us back our goal sheets from all four years,″ said Borofski, who has been nominated for the NE-10 woman of the year award. "It's funny to look back at freshman year, and I remember reading it and it said, 'What do you want to accomplish at the end of your four years?'
"And I answered, 'Hopefully to be on a team that gets to nationals at least one year and making it to the top seven (on the team) in cross country. I never imagined myself being here.″
Borofski has reached new heights at Stonehill, joining men's track & field standout Corey Thomas (class of 2013) as the only athlete to earn eight All-America honors.
She can stand alone at nine this week with another successful showing at the NCAAs. Borofski will run in the preliminary race Thursday night with the final on Friday night.
"It's hard to think that it's going to be over soon,″ said Borofski, who selected Stonehill over UMass Amherst late in her senior year at Plymouth South. "I'm trying not to think about that part. But it's definitely the reality.
"From time to time, I've thought about (all the accomplishments), but I am trying to wait until after because I don't want to get too ahead of myself. Then I get sad that it's almost over. I'll just wait and get sad.
"I'm going to miss every day going out and running with 20 of your best friends and talking about how your day went. We had a connection and were all there for the same reason.″
Stonehill is going to miss Borofski, too, after all she did as a runner for the Skyhawks.
"One of my freshmen said when she grows up she wants to be Nicole Borofski,″ said Boen. "That says a lot.″