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Prep sports profile: David O'Gara

2:03 PM EDT, August 28, 2013

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A two-time All-Conference athlete, Glenbrook South cross country runner David O’Gara set high goals for himself, including a spot among the top 25 at the state meet. Last season, the incoming senior led his team at regionals, placing sixth overall with a time of 15 minutes, 35 seconds.

“In my 21 years as the head coach he has shown more dedication and commitment to our team and the sport than any runner I have coached,” head coach Kurt Hasenstein said. “He has totally immersed himself into running and absolutely loves the sport.”

Name: David O’Gara

Age/year in school (incoming): 17/Senior

Hometown: Glenview

Sport: Cross Country

How long have you run cross country? Since freshman year.

What do you love most about cross country?

I love the combination of individual and team aspects, how you can be striving for your goal alongside your teammates, [and] that you can train and support one another together.

What are your goals for the upcoming season? How will you achieve them? 

My goals are to qualify my team for the state meet and to place in the top 25 at state (for All-State).  I have run more miles this past summer than ever before, and have done extra work in the weight room as well.  

How do you motivate yourself to train during the summer? 

I tell myself that every day is an opportunity, and visualize my goals so I can remind myself what I am working for.

Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors? 

One of my teammates for three years, Peter Westerfield. [He] was incredibly inspirational in that he cared so much about his teammates and worked extremely hard to achieve his goals, and he finished his senior year with no regrets.

If you didn’t run cross country, what would you be doing? 

I would be trying to play basketball, even though I am only five and a half feet tall.

What’s the best part about summer in Glenview? 

There is always something fun to do around town: go to the pool, the library, or just play Frisbee with friends in the park.

Who is your favorite athlete and why? 

My favorite athlete is Galen Rupp [Olympic distance runner], since he is the epitome of hard work bringing success, and also that he is one of the greatest United States distance runners ever.

How do you beat the heat during workouts? 

I make sure to drink plenty of water before workouts, and to cut back when necessary to avoid getting injured.

Favorite quote or words to live by:

“Sometimes when I try to think of an inspirational quote and come up with nothing, one word comes to mind. And that word is, ‘grit.’ Some people call it guts, some call it bravery, but all I know is that one word has inspired me to do so much more than I ever thought I could do. So go get that grit.” –Brent Mitchell

Profile edited by Lauren Comitor. Local coaches who would like to see an athlete featured in TribLocal should email triblocaltips@tribune.com.