If you really want something, what’s stopping you from going after it?
High school is a time where many students become involved in organized sports. However, after high school, many of these students end their athletic careers, believing that they can’t handle the college athlete lifestyle, or feeling as though they aren’t “good enough.” Such is not the case. I sat down with Boston University Women’s Cross Country (BUWXC) captain Gabrielle DiRenzo, a walk-on athlete turned team star, to talk a little about pursuing college athletics in the face of doubt.
DiRenzo started competitively running 8 years ago. In 8th grade, her school started a cross country program and she and a few friends joined it just for fun. Now, she excels on the trails, the track, in the classroom, and as the leader of a powerful squad of female runners.
Fit U: What made you want to pursue college athletics?
DiRenzo: I had a small program in high school, but was lucky enough to find a friend who was just as passionate about running as I was. The only difference was that she was amazing and I was only above-average (4:58 mile personal record versus 5:31). I realized I wasn’t ready to give up the sport of xc/tf as I watched my friend go through the D1 recruitment process. I knew the best option for me was to apply to my academic dream schools (regardless of running), and hope that their coach would consider me as a walk-on.
DiRenzo: No, especially here at BUXC. Bruce cares so much about each and every athlete. He treats our fastest and slowest teammates with equal respect and confidence in their abilities. We don’t actively acknowledge who is on a scholarship and who is not. We’re just a group of girls passionate about becoming the best runner we can be. To the best of my knowledge, that’s how most teams and coaches are.