October 9, 2008

Meet Senior Cross Country Runner Veronica Vazquez

Oct. 9, 2008

The Santa Clara cross country team is training this week for the Bronco Invitational on Sat., Oct. 18 at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale. Last weekend Veronica Vazquez finished sixth at the Charles Bowles Invitational at Willamette University in Salem, Ore. and the women won the title. Vazquez, a senior from San Jose, is majoring in Accounting. After laughing at high school runners when she was in middle school - she thought they were insane to run that far - she is getting the last laugh.

Meet Veronica Vazquez

What are your plans after graduation?

I hope I am working in the Bay Area and hopefully traveling. Maybe even stalking old teammates.

Do you have someone you look up to as a runner? When you were little?

Well, my uncle was a good runner in college and I love hearing about his later races when he decided he didn't want to be just another good runner. He dedicated himself and he ended up beating people he never dreamed of keeping up with.

Why run? Why did you get started?

`Why run?' is a tough question. I just know that I couldn't not do it and when I'm having a bad day I know it's always there to relax me. It's funny, but the only reason I started running is because I couldn't say no to my P.E teacher in high school when she asked me to join the track team. My dad was hesitant to let me join so it made me want to do it even more.

Where is your favorite place to run at Santa Clara?

I don't run here. We need a track!

Where is your favorite place to run at home?

Almaden Quicksilver County Park.

Do you have any funny stories about head coach Tom Service?

At team meetings we try to guess what saying he'll use next because he has the greatest ones such as 'pop a big one', 'beefy workout', 'taking out the safety net', and my personal favorite, 'leave the comfort zone'.

What's the best part of being a cross country runner at Santa Clara?

The team! We're pretty amazing. But really, being a part of the team has been my favorite part of college life and we've formed really great bonds.

As an upperclassman, do you have any advice for high school runners?

I think I can say it best with a quote: "Somewhere behind the athlete you've become, the practices that made you ache, the coaches that pushed you, the races you've competed in, the long-time dedication, and the friendships you have made along the way, there is a little girl who fell in love with the sport. RUN FOR HER."

Something no one knows about you?

In middle school I used to make fun of the high school track team that ran by. I always thought they were insane. I guess now I'm the crazy one.

If you could run any race, anywhere in the world - where would it be?

The Gold Coast Marathon in Australia

What was your favorite event at the Olympics?

100m

What's better - summer or winter?

Definitely Summer

What's something you wish you could change about the world?

I would change the fact that so many people starve each day. It's hard to be happy when you're hungry.

What's something you wish you could change about yourself?

Probably the fact that I cannot be in two places at once (laughing). That would come in handy right about now.

Why should fans come out to the cross country race Oct. 18?

Well, I don't want to give it away but it's going to be amazing - so maybe everyone should come and see.

Anything else you want to add?

Yeah, a shout out to the roommate Meagan Diss.

Go Broncos!