Julia Burdulis’ Mental Toughness Drove Strong Athletic Career Article by Kinnard Hughes and Photos by Mia Conte

“I do not think I could have done what I’ve been able to accomplish without my teammates"

Senior Julia Burdulis (Hopkinton, Mass.) found a strong sense of community throughout her time here at Trinity, especially as a member of the Bantam cross country and track and field teams. Burdulis races the 5k and 6k throughout her cross-country season and runs the mile and 5k during the indoor track season. Over the outdoor track season, Burdulis competes in the 800, 1500 and 5k.

Photo by Mia Conte'22

Prior to Trinity, Burdulis grew up in a culture of running. Her mother ran at Tufts University and her father competed in marathons, so Burdulis was well-positioned to embark on her own journey. At the age of 11, Burdulis competed in her first ever 5k. From there, day by day, she became extremely eager to improve.

Julia Burdulis'21

After her early success as a child and throughout high school, Burdulis knew that she wanted to run at the collegiate level. She sought the right institution that had a great combination of athletics and academics. When Burdulis visited Trinity and met the team members and coaches, she knew it was the school for her.

“On an overnight visit at Trinity, meeting the team is what sealed the deal for me. I could see myself working with these people every day, and I felt like the team took the sport just as seriously as I did,” Burdulis said.
Photo by Mia Conte '22
“Distance running is unique," said Burdulus. "Often times, while running, my teammates and I are actually able to hold conversations. From here, we are able to discover our strengths and weaknesses. I don’t think my teammates and I could have accomplished what we’ve done without these types of interactions.”

As far as Burdulis’ athletic performance with the Bantams is concerned, she admits to struggling early on. Prior to her junior season, Burdulis had not beaten run any of her personal bests from high school. However, she came back strong in 2019, making a huge jump from her sophomore to junior season. Burdulis credits this success to her coaching staff, teammates, and her own.

Julia Burdulis'21
“Mentally, I came to a realization that nothing stood in my way from becoming faster than what I was in high school,” Burdulis said. “I set big goals for myself that scared me, but due to my determination and support from my teammates and coaches, it became a reality for me to run times that I hadn’t run previously,” Burdulis added.
“She figured out what she needs to do as a college athlete," said Trinity Head Women's Cross Country Coach George Suitor. "She has worked really hard since being a freshman and her summer training has increased greatly,”

Aside from cross country and track, Burdulis is also a member of the Stella Society Sorority and a Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative from Trinity's women's cross country team. Moreover, as an education and psychology major, Burdulis successfully completed an internship this summer. She was tasked with assisting four first graders begin reading at their grade level. As a remote intern at Dream Charter School in New York, Burdulis learned a lot about reading intervention, and the first graders progressed steadily toward their grade-level reading.

Photo by Mia Conte'22
“Although my internship was remote, it was still a great experience not only due to the chance to interact with children online, but also for the relevant experience that I gained.”

After transitioning from her internship, Burdulis was saddened to learn that her final fall cross country season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, Burdulis is looking forward to the spring season and believes that the Bantams will still be able to excel on the track. In the meantime, Burdulis has written herself a training plan and stuck to it.

Photo by Mia Conte'22
“With COVID taken into account, she’s done a great job with the team as captain,” Coach George Suitor said. “She’s been keeping people motivated and she’s been a leader in a time when it is truly a tough time to lead."

After Trinity, Burdulis is looking to apply to graduate school to achieve a master’s degree in education. Also, it is no surprise that Burdulis wants to continue her cross country career in some form or fashion. Burdulis foresees herself as a runner and perhaps, one day, as a cross country/track coach.

Burdulis is racing through a host of challenges throughout her time at Trinity, and remains hopeful about finishing off her career as a Bantam on a strong and positive note.

Photo by Mia Conte'22