Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Unexpected talent leads to O’Neil’s passion for running, friendships


While Audrey O’Neil might have started long distance running simply to stay fit for soccer, she ended up falling in love with Cross Country and Track & Field and has committed to Santa Clara to pursue them more. Her life has forever changed from lacing up muddy cleats to spiked shoes and impressively running 2:16 for the 800 and 4:46.75 for the 1500.

O’Neil is a senior student-athlete who started running because of her parents who ran marathons frequently. She started exclusively running her sophomore year.

“I came into Jesuit doing track as a way to stay fit for soccer but my sophomore year I switched to cross country and now I’m a part of the track team because it’s my biggest passion in life,” O’Neil said.

Now, O’Neil runs long distances such as the 5k in Cross Country and the 1500 meter run, 5000 meter run, among other events.

In her career at Jesuit, O’Neil’s favorite thing about Track & Field and Cross Country has been the friendships she’s made along the way and the culture those programs have brought. Her relationships have shaped her character and enabled her to pursue the sport in a way she never thought was possible.

“I’ve met some of my best friends through distance running. Everyone just knows what you’re going through in that sport and it’s kind of hard to talk about it with other people that don’t really understand it. The community is like no other and is just so supportive,” O’Neil said.

Senior Amalie Beil, a long distance runner, is teammates with O’Neil and has seen her growth.

“She has gained a lot of confidence in the sport which has been awesome to see. She I think is literally the epitome of what it means to be a great teammate. She always celebrates everyone’s successes, and is super encouraging,” Beil said.

O’Neil has been impacted the most by Beil throughout the years they’ve run together. Becoming best friends, they inspire one another to keep running and hold each other accountable.

“She makes running an escape for me,” O’Neil said.

Her tough schedule usually includes missing school days for invitationals and different meets, so O’Neil has had to figure out ways to balance work in both the classroom and her sport.

“I tend to go in and ask teachers for help because we miss a lot of school. It has definitely taught me to get my priorities and values straight. I focus on what’s most important and what I’m doing in my life,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil talked about how she looks up to junior Emma Bennett, who has faced many injuries throughout her high school career.

“I really look up to her because even on her bad days, she’s still able to show up for other people and when she’s not able to race, she still comes in and cheers for us. She shows me what it means to really dedicate yourself to a sport, but also not make a sport your entire life.”

Looking towards the future, O’Neil has committed to Santa Clara for both Cross Country and Track & Field. She’s excited to impact another program and be in the sunny weather for the upcoming years.

“The thing that stuck out to me most is that I don’t have to be on my game running all the time and I can still enjoy the other parts of my life,” O’Neil said.

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About the Contributor
Addy Azavedo
Addy Azavedo, Staff Writer
Addy Azavedo is a determined and hard-working junior who attends Jesuit High School. Through seeing media in everyday life, she has become interested in the intricate inner workings of media creation. As this is Addy’s first year in the world of media, she is eager to learn more about camera production and design. Addy is primarily interested in writing about topics in sports and analyzing matches that are competitive and high-intensity. She finds announcing and commentating intriguing which she hopes to explore throughout this year. In Addy’s free time she loves to hang out with friends, spend time with family, bake, and pursue volleyball. Her favorite class at Jesuit is any math course as it challenges her to think critically. If she isn’t learning more about media or focusing on academics, you may find her on a court or a beach playing volleyball. Throughout the year, Addy loves to volunteer with a local organization called Play.Fit.Fun whose goal is to provide an opportunity for children to stay active and have fun. Addy is very excited to start learning more about media production and take her knowledge into the world. She hopes to create meaningful stories that other students will find inspiring and useful.