Boys' Varsity Cross-Country
Senior Richard Aguirre, sophomore Luis Reyes and junior Mario Ruiz are three impressive young men and great representatives of their cross-country team. They are well-spoken, polite yet have that little gleam in their eye telling me they are really enjoying being young and running for the pure thrill of it.
What are your plans after graduation?
Richard: I know I want to go to college and major in accounting. I also hope to play soccer as well.
Luis: I plan on going to a four-year college and majoring in mechanical engineering, but I do not have a particular school in mind yet.
Mario: I want to run for a Division I program. I am not sure of my major yet, but it would be something that is outdoors and would keep me active for sure.
What other sport have you always wished you had competed in?
Richard: I have always wanted to play football, but my parents feel like I may get injured and it would hurt my soccer and running.
Luis: I, too, have always wanted to play football, but my parents wanted me to stick to running, so really, I had no choice.
Mario: Even though I am in track, all my races are distance races. I have always wished I could run a sprint race and see how that feels to have an event over in just seconds instead of longer race times.
Do you have someone you wish could see you perform, even just once?
Richard: I had a best friend, Aldhair Lopez, who always pushed me to get better at whatever I was doing. He was my workout partner and he always had my back. He passed away a few months ago, and I feel like I compete for him and I wish he was here to see me run or play.
Luis: I always wanted my grandparents on my dad’s side to come see me compete. They lived in Mexico and always wanted to come watch, but unfortunately, they have both passed away now.
Mario: I am hoping to have college scouts come see me run so they can talk to me and see my competitiveness and how I can help their school and program with my running abilities.
What is your favorite food, and why?
Richard: My favorite is homemade enchiladas made by my mom. She makes cheese and chicken enchiladas, and I have eaten up to nine in one sitting.
Luis: I love to eat salmon. We make it at home, or when I go to a restaurant, that is what I always order. I am not sure why other than I just love the taste.
Mario: I can’t narrow it down to one. I love every single thing my grandma makes to eat. That is my favorite, anything she makes.
What is your routine before a race?
Mario: Every night before a race, I always eat a pasta meal. I have my lucky socks I wear and I always bring my Bible for inspiration. I also rub my whole body down with Icee-Hot. It relaxes my muscles and maybe it even throws off my opponents with the strong, minty smell.
Richard: Well, because of Mario, I also rub my body with Icee-Hot and then I say a particular prayer right before the race.
Luis: I too rub my whole body with Icee-Hot because of Mario’s routine, and then I go through a particular set of stretches that really works for me and gets me ready to run.
How has athletics made you a better student?
Richard: Sports has made me a better leader, I believe. In soccer I am a captain, and I try to push myself and my teammates to always try to be better. As a student, these same qualities help me push myself, and I even push fellow teammates to pass their classes.
Mario: Sports has definitely made me a better student because sports sets the tone to represent myself and Elgin, as a student or in competition. I always feel I have to give my best effort in both areas.
Luis: I feel like I represent the school, the students and the coaches whether I am a student or a competitor. Athletics has definitely given me pride in upping my effort in everything I do.
Spiderman or Batman. Who are you tak-
Photo by Ron Ramirez ing in that fight?
Richard: Batman for sure. He is more experienced and I think he is smarter than Spider-man.
Luis – I would pick Batman. He has all kinds of gadgets he could use against Spiderman, while Spiderman has basically only his web.
Mario: I think Spider-man would win. He has more abilities and powers. He can go faster and further than Batman.
Where is that one “special place” you would love to go on vacation?
Richard: I still want to go to Barcelona, Spain and go see my favorite soccer team, FC Barcelona, play in their beautiful stadium.
Luis: It would definitely be Greece for me. All the history there, the ruins, and how beautiful the country is.
Mario: Mine has not changed in that I would love to go to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Just running those beautiful beaches and visiting the giant statue of Jesus Christ would be fantastic.