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Girls' Varsity Cross Country

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    Junior Julie Rivera, sophomore Alyssa Salinas and junior Imelda Nunez. Photo by Ron Ramirez

These three young athletes—junior Julie Rivera, sophomore Alyssa Salinas and junior Imelda Nunez— are interesting, and competitive and know how much better they will get at cross-country in the coming years during high school.

What other sport or team have you always wished you had tried in school?

Julie: I would have loved to have played soccer. My whole family plays and I did when I was a kid, but have never played competitively in school.

Imelda: This is kind of weird, but I have always wanted to try water polo. I am not sure why, and I don’t know that much about it, but it looks really cool.

Alyssa: I would have loved to be in the Purple Diamonds because I love dancing and I really like their dancing routines.

Do you already have plans for after graduation?

Imelda: I will go to college and study animal science.

Alyssa: I want to study so I can be an x-ray technician at a hospital.

Julie: I want to go to school to be dental hygienist.

What do you like to do to relax that has nothing to do with sports or school?

Alyssa: I just love to read. I read all sorts of books of no particular type, just whatever catches my attention. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but it is for me.

Julie: I love to paint. I use acrylic paints and spend a lot of time at home relaxing by painting.

I am sure all this running has to make you hungry. Tell me about your absolute favorite food dish.

Julie: Carnitas! My mom and dad make the best carnitas. Whenever we have a party, that’s what I always ask them to make.

Alyssa: I really love Italian food but especially chicken alfredo from Olive Garden. It is really, really good.

Imelda: My mom makes the best green enchiladas. They are a little spicy, and with the rice and beans, it is my favorite thing to eat.

Who do you always wish could have seen you compete in your meets?

Imelda: My cousin. He is 19 and we have always been very close. He moved to Arkansas and works a lot so he has not been able to see me yet.

Alyssa: I wish my uncle could see me run. We have such a strong bond but he has not been able to watch me run yet.

What one place have you always wanted to visit?

Julie: My favorite place to go visit is Australia. I love their accent and I want to see all the animals that live there, especially the koala bears.

Imelda: I would love to visit Spain because of how beautiful it is, the scenery and the wonderful people.

Alyssa: My choice would be Japan. I love amusement parks and they have a great one there that I would love to try.

How does being an athlete help you to be a better student?

Imelda: It helped teach me respect, not only for my coaches and teammates, but my teachers. It also helps me work with my classmates.

Alyssa: It gives us discipline and respect for all the kids we work with and how we treat everyone.

Julie: It helps me work as a team, sometimes with people I would not have normally worked with.

Name someone that really inspires you.

Julie: My grandma really inspires me. She came to the U.S. with nothing and raised my mom and my aunts. She worked really, really hard and now has built a good life here.

Alyssa: My choice would be Mario Ruiz on the boys' team. He works so hard, and when he goes after something, he usually gets it. He has the best work ethic I have seen.

Imelda: I mentioned him earlier, but my inspiration would be my cousin. He took off to Arkansas by himself, not knowing anyone. He now has such a good job and I am so proud of him for everything he has done.

What is your favorite animal and why?

Imelda: I have big dogs and I love them. They are so friendly.

Julie: My favorite animal is a koala bear. They look so cuddly and I can’t wait to go to Australia and hold one.

Alyssa: I have big dogs and little dogs, so it’s easy to say they are my favorite animal. I love how cuddly they can be when I need them.