Racing to Success


A cluster of flushed faces crowd together at the starting line. The frozen air speaks of promise and potential as the contestants take their place. A gunshot pops sharply in the distance and dozens of energetic feet ram simultaneously into the ground. The next few minutes will be filled with numb lungs and burning muscles. For Chris Perez, victory is only a few minutes away.

“I definitely plan on going to regionals and states this year. For outdoor and indoor track, I would love to make it to nationals. I run seven days a week, anywhere from forty five to fifty four mile,” Perez said.

Much of Perez’s success can be attributed to the heavy training he endures, as well as his team members, and his coach, Patrick Shaw. The track team trains intensely every week day, doing the best they can in order to ensure success at every meet.

“Coach Shaw seems to have made a lost of sacrifices. I try to be as dedicated as he is. Kyle Christ and Coach Shaw have both been a big running aspiration for me. When I race, I try to compete to the highest level. I give my all. I love running the 800 and the 1000. I’m best at shorter distances. We have only raced one meet for indoor track, but so far I’m ranked number 1 in the state,” Perez said.

Running can be used as many things– a way to improve health, a form of physical relief, and even a way into college. Much of the ambition behind Perez’s running success can be attributed to his desire for a scholarship. Some of the colleges he is interested in are Appalachian State University, UNC Charlotte, and East Carolina University.

Although Perez’s natural talent and hard work have molded him into an elite runner, he wasn’t always this way. Earlier in his high school career, Perez used to play football. Before high school, he was always athletic, even though he wasn’t extremely dedicated to a particular sport.

“I played a lot of pick up games, I was always fast as a kid. “I chose competitive running because I was fast,” Perez said.

Of all the sports available for high schoolers to compete in, running may be one of the most competitive. In order to get into a good college, Perez must run a distinct time in certain events. Race times are cut and dry– there is nothing subjective about it.

After college, Perez has stated interest in becoming an architect.

“I want to major in architecture or construction management. I would like to get my masters degree, it would make my major much more valuable. Although it’s unlikely, I would definitely run professionally if I could,” Perez said.