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.