Ricardo Gonzales ‘19 can often be spotted as a front runner during both cross country practices and meets or hard at work in the studio making music.
His dedication to whatever he sets his mind to clearly translates to his many achievements as a top runner for Deerfield’s boys cross-country team.
As a four-year team member and current team captain, coaches and teammates alike have lauded his spirit, commitment, and unwavering leadership for the sport.
Gonzales’ journey in the sport is unconventional. When asked why he started running he said, “I looked up to my sister who also happened to force me to run.”
But ever since he started, he has enjoyed it and dedicated himself to it. His dedication stems from his passion for the sport.
He commented on his passion saying, “I like running because it allows me to be free from all stress especially that of classes here at Deerfield.”
His work ethic and talent truly shine through as he is one of three captains this season.
His co-captain Tom Dillon ‘19 described being one of three captains, “It’s a lot of fun having three captains leading the team, there’s competition to improve, not only as an individual but as a team.”
The bond that is exemplified by the captains carries throughout the whole team and strengthens their team spirit and ability to be competitive in a friendly way.
New member of the team, Trey Souder ‘22 raved about this team dynamic and the way that Gonzales contributes to it saying, “Ricky’s position as a team captain brings us together and reminds us of our goals and our main objectives, whether those are short term or long term.”
Aside from being an exceptional leader, Gonzales is also an accomplished athlete. He finished in ninth place at last year’s New England championships and is a key athlete in every race he runs. His coach, Michael Schloat, described his season so far saying, “On the course, Ricardo has been our number 1 runner during every race, doing battle each week with the rest of New England’s top runners. It is a grueling role to play, but he has hung in there gamely. His natural running capabilities and determination set him apart. “
Gonzales’ goals for the team going into New England’s are high, but he knows what this team has the capability to do.
His other teammate, Charlie Lewis ‘21 describes Gonzales as a “smart, well-liked leader who helps focus the team.” Despite his many successes, he is still a humble leader who has gained the team’s respect. His fellow captain, JJ Siritantikorn ‘19, respects Ricardo for his “hard work in and out of practice.” He is a friend to all of his teammates and offers helpful advice and tips when they are needed. This compassion and unmatched passion for cross country inspires all of his peers and his coaches.
Gonzales is also a dedicated athlete outside of practices and meets.
He “eats, sleeps, and trains constantly which is a tough lifestyle that he’s willing to buy into,” according to Dillon ‘19.
His devotedness to the improvement of his running is the essential factor in making him the outstanding athlete that he has become.