At 4-years-old, Ryler Gould suffered a major injury while mowing the lawn with his dad one day. His foot got stuck in the mower, suffering intensive injuries and requiring extensive surgeries along the way.
"It was rough surgery, I had to learn to walk again, I had to go through wheel chair and crutches and all that stuff," said Gould.
But his foot became deformed until one doctor stepped in and conducted additional reconstructive surgery when Ryler was just 11 so he could walk normally again.
Now a senior at Newburgh Free Academy North, Ryler is a star track and field athlete breaking state records for the 400 meter hurdles and winning gold at the 2019 Penn Relays. After all Gould has overcome, he never thought he’d get this far.
"I just joined track to just run and have fun," said Gould.
Monday morning, it all paid off. Gould officially signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Miami and join the track team. He will study Graphic Design, all while on a full four-year paid scholarship. He made the choice between four schools in front of a packed crowd of his friends, classmates, and family members.
"It was a tough decision but in the end it was great, it was a great decision,” said Gould. “Everybody was so tight with who to choose but Miami came in the long run so I'm pretty excited. I can’t wait to go there."
Ryler excels not just on the track but in the classroom too.
"With them, and my coach and my counselors in school, telling me that listen in order to get where you need to get you can run as fast as you can but without grades you're not going to be able to go anywhere so I had to buckle down and not only worry about running I had to worry about staying in the books," said Gould.
That success is all thanks to the support of his mom, dad, and little brother.
"I'm just really proud of his achievements, he's worked really hard there's been a lot of nights that he would be up learning how to walk again going from the wheelchair to the walker to the crutches," said Ryler's mom, Michelle Gould.
"I'm over here running track with a foot when I wasn't even projected to be able walk normally again and I'm over here doing hurdles nonetheless," said Ryler Gould. "It's something I always tell everybody is, if you want to achieve something, attack it, don't be scared because it just sounds out there if you think you can do it there's always a possibility that you can.”