AJ Lopez Makes 2nd Trip to Cross Country’s Regional Meet

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AJ Lopez competing in the regional cross-sountry meet for the second year in a row, Lopez finished 32nd just seven places from qualifying for state.

Cassandra Ruiz, Author

For the second consecutive year, student-athlete Jose Lopez ran in the Regional cross-country meet. The meet was held at Texas A&M Corpus Christi on November 10th.  Lopez came up just short of qualifying for the state meet.    

Lopez has been participating on cross country teams since 7th grade.  Ever since he was a little kid Lopez never imagined growing up to love this sport or dedicating a part of his life to running. He got the first impression of running through his two older sisters who he loves to compete with through any sport he can. Lopez admits that training is a pain and there are days that are exhausting.

“I always keep in mind that if cross country were easy, everyone would do it.  I wouldn’t trade those 2 months of 5am early morning workouts out for anything,” Lopez says.

This athlete knows this sport is a mentality breach and how you manage yourself through every practice and race.  Through the years the more he trained the more he started to realize how much this sport completes him.

Lopez says “ I am me when I run, my thoughts are endless and all my worries are gone”. 

Motivation also comes through Lopez’s coaches.  He attributes “great mentors like Coach Torres and coach Turk,” as coaches who taught him the value of hard work. These two coaches constantly talked to him about the value of humility.  Lopez got his biggest push for success from Coach Luna.  He attributes her  as the main reason why he loves the sport so much.

Lopez says, “she wasn’t just a coach to me but more of a supporter. She taught me to develop commitment in this sport and gain confidence in running.  She was there for him through his toughest meets and his hard earned success. Even though she isn’t my coach anymore she still keeps in contact with me giving me workouts and motivation for the future.” 

With every meet that Lopez encounters he always starts preparing the night before by hydrating well and going to bed early. He makes sure to stay in his correct mindset by getting to the school early before a meet and stretching. Music plays an important role in getting him in a focused and more confident attitude before his race.

Lopez says “I listen to all types of music to get me in my zone but most of the time I listen to my favorite rapper Polo G.”

Always looking forward to the outcome of his meets, Lopez never minds the total exhaustion that overwhelms his body after a race.  Or the fact that can’t feel his legs because the the only thing that runs through his mind after the satisfaction of crossing that finish line and knowing that all the hard work paid off.

Cross Country is not a simple sport, it takes someone with dedication and determination to truly commit time and effort into it. Lopez brings all these features to the table and portrays them at every meet he runs.