CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – John Jay senior Brianna Garofolo has spent five years on the swim team and four years on the women’s lacrosse team.
A member of the John Jay swim team since eighth grade, Garofolo was named captain for her junior and senior seasons. She was a repeat member of the New York State finals medley relay team, a Section 1 finalist in the 100-yard breaststroke (three years), and an All-Section award recipient. She was recognized as a Scholar-Athlete all four years.
She also played lacrosse all four years of high school as a goalie. John Jay is a top-ranked women’s lacrosse team in New York State and Top 100 ranked team in the country. As the starting goalie, she was named Defensive Player of the Year during the 2019 season, as well as All-Section Honorable Mention in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
From ninth to 11th grade, she also participated in club swim. The year-round USA Swim Program involved five practices per week and many weekend/travel meet commitments. She qualified and competed in BGNW Nationals, New York Senior Metropolitans, Junior Olympics, and Zone Mets.
How are you getting through this period of social distancing? What are you doing to keep busy?
I am currently catching up on some sleep, but also participating in team challenges and social-distance bonding activities with my lacrosse team. I go on hikes frequently and love to work on my art.
When did you start playing lacrosse and what got you started?
I started to play lacrosse in elementary school but didn’t really fully commit to goalie until fifth grade. My sister played for a couple of years, so I kind of just got into it that way. As for the goalie part, when you’re younger no one really wants to be goalie, so they do a random selection, but I didn’t like putting on team equipment if other people had already been sweaty in it, so I always volunteered to go first. Coaches Bob Wilmoth and Mark Phillips saw potential and encouraged me to keep going. Eventually, I fell in love with the position.
What jersey number do you wear and is there any significance behind it?
I wear jersey No. 20 but there’s no significant reason why.
What is your favorite sports memory from your time at John Jay?
When John Jay’s lacrosse teams both celebrated a Section 1 championship.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
Probably my old teammate, Annie Conway. She was an incredible student who worked so hard and was simultaneously one of the best people to be around. She taught me to keep a steady mindset and to always keep fighting until the last second.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
My dad always made me eggs for breakfast the morning of games and a PB&J for lunch.
What are your post-high school plans, athletically and academically?
I am currently admitted to UC Santa Barba with plans to study marine science. I am not on any athletic teams, but I would consider taking up a club sport, like lacrosse or something new.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
I would love to be able to shapeshift into any creature. I feel like with the ability to shape shift, you would be prepared for any situation.
What is something about yourself people would be surprised to learn?
A lot of people don’t know how invested I am in the ocean. I’ve spent time living and working on sailboats, I’m a certified PADI master and rescue diver. I’ve dove cage-free with all different kinds of sharks, and I am a frequent watcher of any kind of ocean nature documentary.
What place would you most like to visit?
I really want to go out to Thailand to visit the reefs.
What is your favorite place to eat locally?
What’s the go-to app on your phone and why?
Spotify. I always have to be listening to music.
Are you currently binging anything?
For a young athlete growing up in the Katonah-Lewisboro school district, what would you tell them about the experience of being on the lacrosse team and why should they go out for it?
It will be one of the best journeys you could embark on in your life, you gain a whole new family through teammates and the surrounding community. You will learn so many things about how to deal with adversity and you’ll have the pleasure of embracing the positive ones. It will shape you to be a better version of yourself and will leave you with memories you won’t forget.