Athlete Feature! Hopkinton’s Simon Doneski

When did you start competing in track and field?

Since about seventh grade. I used to be a lacrosse player before then and I have to say switching to track was the best decision I’ve ever made.


What is your favorite track and field event?

The 3200, for sure. I love the long distance events, although I’m always scared that one of these times I’m going to end up miscounting the laps and sprint on my seventh.


You have improved a bunch over the last year!  What do you the most to that improvement??

Honestly, I think its Coach Rothe. He’s a wizard. Anything he says works like magic. When he first took the helm, we were very skeptical because we had never heard of him and he was nothing like our old coach.  That went away quickly as we all made huge improvements. I really have just nothing but respect for him as a coach and I feel I owe my huge improvement mostly to him.


If you could do any event in track and field, which one would it be and why?

I think it would be the pole vault. I’d break every bone in my body if I ever tried it, but it looks like a lot of fun.


Describe your favorite workout:

This isn’t really a workout, but they offer free cookies on Friday at the local grocery store in Hopkinton.  We usually stop by on our Friday runs to grab a cookie.


Describe your favorite race/competition memory:

I think it has to be Division III Cross Country Championships this year.  Before that race I had been injured for a while so I had no idea what I was capable of.  I thought I could get fifth if I had a really good race. Sure enough, when I came down the big hill and back onto the field, I was fifth.  But everything just clicked and I felt really strong.  When I ended up second it was the best feeling in my life.  It honestly felt like a dream. I never imagined that I could podium.


How does your coach motivate you?

Well, Coach Rothe is actually quite a fast runner, so usually I’m just trying to beat him on runs and workouts. He’s a very relaxed coach and he makes the team really fun too.


If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

I think I would go to Indonesia. My grandfather lived there for a long time and always tells us stories about how amazing it is, so I’d love to go see that someday.


What is your go-to pre-meet meal?

I always have a bagel with peanut butter and chocolate chips before every race.


Do you have a favorite prerace song?

Dom Repucci, who graduated last year, used to always play Rage Against the Machine really loudly on the bus rides, so I sort of picked that up from him. I usually listen to their music right before I get on the line.


What motivates you most to do well?

I’m really motivated to just keep beating my records and see how fast I can get. I also am really externally motivated by spectators and things so I love the live streams you guys do of the races and when our school comes out to support.  I really would love the opportunity to run in college, too, so lately that keeps me motivated to work hard and put in the miles.


What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Probably climb Mt. Everest. I really like the idea of climbing Everest except for the whole almost certain death part of it.


What is the best advice or quote ever given to you?

Louis Zamperini: “One moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.”


If you go to college, do you plan to compete in track and field? And where?

I definitely want to keep running; I really love it and can’t imagine myself ever not running. In regard to where I’m going to college, I have no idea, yet.  I’m starting my college tours in April.  I hope to talk to a handful of coaches around New England. Right now my top choice is probably University of New Hampshire though.


What is your favorite thing about Track and Field?

The people. There’s something about runners. They’re a strange breed, but I’ve never met a runner I didn’t like. I’ve met so many amazing friends through this sport, both from other teams and my own.  I love going to big meets because it’s a chance to see and talk with all those great guys from around the state.


What is your favorite track facility?

I really like Merrimack Valley. I have a lot of good memories from the meets there. I’ve been running races there since I was in 7th grade. I always look forward to going there and the Hopkinton and Merrimack Valley teams are really close, so it’s always nice to see them.