Merino ready for next challenge


Emerson Harris

After taking a commanding lead, sophomore Elijah Merino pushes through in the final stretch of the district cross country meet on Oct. 13. He won the meet with a time of 16:11.06.

Sophomore Elijah Merino will compete in the Regional Cross Country Championships with the varsity squad on Tuesday. He won the District Championships in a time of 16:11. A top 8 individual finish will qualify Merino for state. The boys team fell just five points shy of advancing the whole team a year ago.

How much do you train for cross country? 

 “I train quite a bit. We go six days a week. Sundays are our rest day.” 

Who is your biggest motivation? 

“Probably my mom and my dad and my sister. My sister because she inspired me to start running. And my dad and mom… they’ve just always been there to support me no matter what.”

What do you do to prepare for meets?

“Carb load the day before, drink lots of water. I’ll have sports drinks like Body Armor Prime, and I get a lot of sleep.”

What do you do to stay focused during a run?

“I don’t think about anything. I just cut my head off. The key is to not think about running so you can run, you know?”

How do your teammates help motivate you during the season? 

“Inspiring words. They always know how to say the right thing. That and they’re super hard working. They are great people to be around and uplifting. And also, they are just fun people in general. Like they always know what to say.”

How do you feel about Regionals? 

“It feels kind of like any other meet honestly. I’m not really too worried about it. I’m predicted to place really well, so it’s just kind of whatever, you know?”

How will you prepare for Regionals?

“I will pray, get my mind ready, mentally prepare myself. And then when the time comes, just do what I always do.”

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

“My goal is to make it to State and then break the 16-minute barrier for a 5K.”