X-Country runner looks forward to track season


Senior Brian Gonna runs his final cross country meet at the Sheridan VA hospital. (Photo Sam Sampson)

Ever since his seventh-grade year, senior Brian Gonda has been running competitively when he decided to try some new sports and went out for track. His parents were encouraging him to try some new things and he felt the urge towards sports. At the time, Gonda did not really enjoy track, but he did well in the sport for his age which led him to continue running through junior high and into high school. However, Gonda came to a crossroad his freshman year in high school. Gonda had to make a choice between running cross country or playing football. When the time had come to make a final decision, Gonda chose to do cross country. His choice came from looking at which sport he felt he could do best in over the long run and from listening to other important people in his life like his dad.

Throughout the years, Gonda steadily improved in cross country and continued to set new goals for himself. His final season went well and started in the summer of August 2014. Gonda also ran during the summer prior to the official start so he could be in shape at the start of the season. Throughout the season, Gonda continued to chase his goals of finishing in the top ten at state which had been a goal he had set back in his junior year. Gonda then put his whole heart into the state race at the VA hospital in Sheridan, which was also his final race of his high school cross country career; Gonda achieved his goal of placing top ten. By making the top ten, Gonda also made the cut for all-state. “It was really cool and I was pretty nervous before the race because I didn’t think I would,” said Gonda. Gonda placed ninth at state with a time of 16:48.65.

With his final high school cross country season now over, Gonda is looking forward to his upcoming indoor and outdoor track seasons. Similar to cross country, Gonda does mostly long distance events such as the one and two-mile. He is looking to place within the top four in both events this year at state. This has also been a self-set goal for Gonda after placing in the bottom four out of eight last year in finals. He wants to show that he has become stronger and faster since last season. Gonda is looking to break the barrier of placing in the bottom four in finals and to make himself known by placing in the top four.

After high school, Gonda is still unsure of what he would like to do immediately after graduation. He is currently debating between going straight to college or going on a mission and enrolling in college afterward.

In the circumstance that he chooses to go to college first, his main priority would be his education, but he would still like to run if his choice of college has a spot for him. Gonda would like to go to college for something in the medical field or for engineering. Currently, his plans are to go to pre-med and decide his specialty in the medical field during rotations. His interest in medicine piqued when Gonda took classes like anatomy and advanced placement biology, where he really enjoyed the content and did well overall.

Besides medical school, Gonda has also thought about going into an engineering field with a chemical engineer as his top pick. Classes at the high school such as calculus have also piqued his interest in being an engineer because of his enjoyment and skill in such classes.

Besides college, Gonda has thought about going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. On a mission, a member of the church goes on a two-year venture to help share their religion with those who do not know of it or have never had the opportunity to learn about the Mormon Church and Jesus Christ. The location of the mission is random and could be anywhere in the world. Many of those who choose to go on a mission also have to learn a second language which is something Gonda is looking forward to if he chooses to go straight out of high school.

Outside of church activities, school, and running, Gonda said his time is mostly consumed and likes to just relax in his free time.

Gonda is the son of Shawn and Kate Gonda.