Junior distance runner continues to excel
Schuyler Gooley started running in the third grade, when a gym teacher challenged students to run at least a mile every day. Now a junior at Hopkinton High School, she hasn’t stopped running, and she has multiple school records to show for it.
“I get really excited when I’m competing,” Gooley said. “Usually around halfway through the race I get tired and I can get some negative thoughts, but for the most part I’m just excited and have a lot of adrenaline and it makes me go faster.”
How fast? Gooley set the Hopkinton school record for the mile in indoor track last year, running it in 5 minutes, 6 seconds. She topped that time during the spring season last June, and her times this season have her ranked first in the Tri-Valley League in the 600 meters, 1,000 meters and mile, along with the second-best time in the league in the two-mile.
The 600 is shorter than her typical race, but Gooley won the event at a recent meet, posted the top time in the league and qualified for states.
It all started with the challenge from an elementary school gym teacher, which Gooley said was part of a program called “Desire to Inspire.”
“It really got me into running,” she said. “I ran with my dad every day and I just liked the sport and kept up with it.”
Gooley trains upward of 35-40 miles per week, usually running more during the summer and the cross country season. She’s been running with the Hillers since her freshman year, and her coach, Jean Cann, has marveled at Gooley’s ability since she joined the cross country and track teams.
“Schuy is obviously super-talented but also works hard and has an ability to push herself very hard in races,” Cann said. “When she starts to get really tired she has an amazing ability to tap into a reserve somewhere and run even faster.”
When she’s running with her friends at practice, Gooley said talking helps take her mind off of the work they are doing.
“We talk about running and other things like where the seniors are going to college,” Gooley said. “I like it because it’s a break from school.”
Said Cann: “She treats her racing and training like a serious athlete, but in a very good way doesn’t take life too seriously. She is always laughing or making someone else laugh, or both. She is one of the most fun people I know.”
Gooley finished in the top 10 in both the state and all-state cross country meets this past fall and smashed the Hopkinton course record by 24 seconds. She’s earned numerous all-star honors, as well as co-MVP of Hopkinton’s successful cross country team.
Gooley hopes to continue her career at the collegiate level after she graduates in 2020. She said she has not dived into the college search full force, but sees herself looking into math or science programs.
“I probably want to be a teacher or a nutritionist,” she said.
Asked whether she adheres to a strict diet when she competes, the 16-year-old just laughed and said “no.”