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Bonnetty ‘Inspired’ Cross-Country Team

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Antonio Bonnetty pushing through pain to finish the last mile of a cross-country race at Sand Island in Honolulu

Antonio Bonnetty pushing through pain to finish the last mile of a cross-country race at Sand Island in Honolulu

Kevin Hashiro

Kevin Hashiro

Antonio Bonnetty pushing through pain to finish the last mile of a cross-country race at Sand Island in Honolulu

At the time that this story was released it incorrectly listed Antonio’s home state as Georgia when in reality he is really from Mississippi. This story has been changed to reflect this.

After running for miles through mud and rain with lingering pain, the last thing one would expect is a smile followed by a motivational shout. This is a common scene at the end of a Chaminade University cross-country race after Bonnetty has crossed the finish line.

“Antonio was injured all season, but still showed up to practice with a smile on his face. And even at the end of a race when he was hurting, he would still be cheering you on to the finish line,” said Ali Shedden, a four-year senior on the cross-country team. “He just has this energy about him that is so positive you can’t help but be inspired by him.”

Bonnetty is a junior Criminal Justice & Environmental Science double major from Vicksburg, Mississippi who has been running for the Chaminade University cross-country team here on Oahu for the past two years. He has had to deal with multiple knee injuries on both his left and right knee. Despite injuries, he was able to push through the injuries during races while motivating his teammates along the way.

Bonnetty’s energy is infectious and his positive attitude causes everyone around him to light up which is why it is no surprise that he was named the most inspirational runner. The epitome of a leader and role model is the vibe that one gets while spending any time with Bonnetty, which makes it no surprise that he was the voted the team’s Most Inspirational Runner last season.

He thrives off being a part of the cross-country team because it is a platform that allows him to be with friends while doing something that they are all working towards together.

“It’s the idea of being around friends and just doing something that gets you pumped,” Bonnetty said. “That’s what gets me out of bed. My people. Not for myself but for my teammates. We get up early in the morning to practice for each other.”

Adjusting to life on the cross-country team here in Hawaii has not been without its trials for Bonnetty looking at his knee injuries that he has been dealing with since high school.

“My knee just falls out on me,” Bonnetty said. “I try my best to run through it and get my teammates pumped. ‘Cuz we always seem to have injuries so I gotta keep the team pumped even if that means that I have to limp to the finish line.”

Staying positive while working through an injury is difficult and not all athletes can handle it. Bonnetty had issues with his knees all season and still managed to stay fired up on race day.

“Me teammates are what get me fired up,” Bonnetty said. “You wanna do well for your team and do the best that you can for each other. Cuz at the end of the day, win or lose, we’ve got one another’s backs. And we all worked together for something.”

The ability to stay driven in a sport like cross country, which takes a lot of willpower and dedication especially with injuries, inspired the rest of his teammates all season which is why they he won the most inspirational runner.

Chaminade’s cross-country team will continue its season with the Hawaii Pacific Invitational on Oct. 7 in Kahuku at 7 a.m. The team will wrap up the season with the PacWest championships in California on Oct. 21.

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