Salute to seniors: Hilton Head's Danny Shaughnessy

Name: Danny Shaughnessy
High school: Hilton Head Island High School
Event PRs: 
800: 1:53.31
1600: 4:24.89
3200: 10:01.82
My hobbies are running, reading, playing the ukulele, and playing volleyball at the beach with my friends.

What was your most memorable race/competition?
My cross country state meet my junior year. It was my first state meet in South Carolina and it was the first time that I proved to myself that I could compete with the top runners in the state.

Out of all your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
The 2015 800 at states. This was my first individual state title and it was also my first time making it to a state meet for track, so it was a pretty important event in my running career.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school? 
I would not change a thing. Everything I have done has led me to where I am today. Sure there were a lot of setbacks and races that I wish I could have run again, but without all the lessons that I learned I would not be where I am today.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
My self-confidence. There were a lot of times where I was my own worst enemy because I doubted myself. Once I believed that I could run fast or win a race, I went and did it.

What will you miss the most?
My teammates because they are my family and they have helped shape me into the runner and person I am today. I'm going to miss all the good times that we've had together from pushing each other in workouts to hanging out at the beach with them.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Never set your goals too low. Many people do not succeed because they think that something is too unrealistic or because people say it cannot be done. If I had not set my goals above what others thought possible of me I would not be a state champion.

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals?
I have only been with my current coaches for two years now, but they have had such an impact on my life. Not only have they pushed me in my running, but they have also taught me valuable life lessons for the future. 

What kind of impact did you family have on your time as a high school student-athlete? 
I would not be where I am today without the support that my family has given me. I live in a running family. We are all extremely active and love the sport. However, they did not force running on me, they allowed me to discover it and develop my own passion for the sport just like they did. I will also be following in my mom's footsteps by running for Clemson next year.

What are your college or post high school plans?
I will be running cross country and track for Clemson University while studying engineering.

What do you hope to achieve after high school? 
I want to get my master's degree in Mechanical Engineering. It is also a goal of mine to make it to the NCAA championships for track and field.

Do you see yourself coaching in the future? Please explain and if so, what level and why? 
If I did it would be later on down the road. I could see myself coaching high school because that is where the runners develop the most and I would love to see those progressions.

I want to give a shout-out to my family for their continued love and support. I would not have grown into the runner and person I am today without them. And I would like to give a shout-out to my teammates for being great friends to me and for pushing me for the past two years. 

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why? 
Run a sub-four mile. My first running idol was Sir Roger Bannister and it has been something I have always wanted to do.