It started off as a normal day in Fresno for the LPC men’s cross country team, but as the day came to a close, history was made.
On Sept. 7, LPC sophomore runner Abraham Espinoza finished fifth in a field of 190 runners. What makes that more significant is the fact that he broke the LPC school record for fastest finish at the Fresno Invitational with a time of 20.53. Jerron Clark, who ran a 20.56 in 2004, previously held the record.
“It was great to see him put together a performance like that,” Head Coach Steve Navarro said. “He’s a sophomore so he is showing leadership for the younger guys.”
Navarro had been telling Espinoza he would have a shot at the record all offseason, because of the hard work he has been putting in.
“He didn’t just wake up one day a good runner,” Navarro said. “He’s been running 70-80 miles a week to get to this point.”
What is the secret to Espinoza’s success? Running. While most would probably go celebrate the accomplishment with a feast, Espinoza’s celebration was a nice four-mile run to cool off, on top of the four miles he just ran in the race.
“I just wanted to improve on my team from last year,” Espinoza, who finished with a time of 23.00 last year, said. “It felt amazing to set a school record.”
Wasting no time to celebrate, coach Navarro had t-shirts made for Espinoza with the words ‘record holder’ on them.
“This guy doesn’t eat fast food. He works hard. He’s dedicated,” Navarro said.
LPC finished fifth among northern California teams. Espinoza’s performance played a big part in that. However, he remains humble as he looks ahead to the team’s next meet.
“I’m just going to keep working hard,” Espinoza said. “Hopefully the results reflect that.”
The next meet for the Hawks will be the Lou Vasquez Invitational, which takes place on Sept. 19 at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.