Athlete of the Week: Ronan O’Neill, New Trier track and soccer
Ronan O’Neill is in his first season running track and competes in the 200- and 400-meter runs — and in relays — for the Trevians. He will run for Villanova University next year. O’Neill was also an All-Sectional defender on the New Trier soccer team.
1. Do you have any prerace rituals or superstitions?
Definitely bring my headphone before I race. When I warm up before meets, I listen to music. I pack a lunch with me and eat three hours before I race.
2. Why Villanova?
I kind of wanted to get out of the Midwest so East Coast seemed like a great place for me. Villanova is around 7,000 (students); it was a bit bigger than New Trier but not too big. And academically it was exactly what I was looking for.
3. What do you hope to study?
I am hoping to major in economics. I am taking AP economics at New Trier and am enjoying it. I feel that it’s a field where you can go down a lot of different pathways.
4. How did you get into track?
My New Trier soccer season ended in October this year. I was kind of in between paying club soccer, usually pick it up after the school season, but a bunch of friends were running track. It seemed like something I would be good at.
5. How did you wind up running for Villanova?
I had Villanova chosen before running track. My thing behind it was to find a school I would like outside of athletics and then once I find that I will look into athletics. I reached out to Villanova (about the track team) and was updating them with my times. It happened quicker than anticipated. I went out on official visit two weeks ago. And it was really, really enjoyable.
6. What do you do when you’re not competing?
I definitely like hanging out with my friends and playing golf. Especially in the summer I love to play golf with dad and my friends.
7. What is your dream job?
Probably consultant, I love traveling. Ideally something to do with technology, computers.
8. If you are in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?
Definitely a Gatorade, definitely blue, and a protein bar.
9. What is something people don’t know about you?
A lot of people probably don’t know I have an Irish passport and my dad grew up in Ireland and all my cousins live there, so I travel a lot.
10. What do you and the team hope to accomplish this season?
Individually, I certainly want to be running at the state meet. As a team, we obviously have some good relays with the (4-by-100, 4-by-200 and 4-by-400). As a group, if we could get those also in the state meet, that’s something, we’ll try to make happen. We have a lot of guys on the team that are willing to do the extra work to make that happen.
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319