The Emerald Cross Country team only has two seniors this season, but they have definitely left their marks on the team. Kenya De Leon and Joseph Castillo can both be characterized as kind, yet fierce competitors. They are loving and supporting teammates, but beware if you are are in their path during a race! Their laser-like focus and determination have made them excellent distance runners. These attributes are sure to lead them to success in the years to come. Both runners answered our questions about their time as members of the EHSXC squad.
KENYA DE LEON
- How long have you been running? I have been running since my sophomore year.
- What is your favorite running memory? I really loved being able to travel to the State meet to support Courtney Shearer and Cody Glass my sophomore year. Although I didn’t run, it allowed me to see what it is that we work so hard towards.
- What is the toughest part of running XC? The fact that it is such an unpredictable sport. Every course is different, so you can never know exactly what to expect.
- What is the best part of running XC? Being a part of a team with such a great group of people who show love and support no matter what.
- What is your favorite distance to race (800, 1600, 3200, 5k)? I enjoy racing the 1600.
- How do you lead the team? I try to lead by setting an example. I don’t like to tell people what to do, but if I do what I know is right, then I am setting an example for my teammates to follow.
- What character traits make you a good runner? I am very determined and intrinsically motivated.
- Where do you plan to attend college? Will you run there? I plan on going to either College of Charleston or Clemson. Wherever I end up going, I will probably join a running club.
- How would you like your time as an Emerald athlete to be remembered? I want to be remembered for who I am rather than just for times I ran.
- How has running XC changed you as a person? Running has given me the opportunity to learn about who I am and has allowed me to gain the self-confidence that I lacked. It has also allowed me to pursue what I once saw as impossible because I honestly never thought I would be able to just go out and run the way I do now.
- How long have you been running? I have been running since my freshman year, so about four years.
- What is your favorite running memory? My favorite running memory is when I was racing and I have been chasing a guy in front of me the entire race and when there’s 400m or 500m left of the course and I make my move to pass him at the last second. I love showing off my speed towards the end of the race.
- What is the toughest part of running XC? Pushing yourself when you think you have nothing left during a race
- What is the best part of running XC? Getting a personal record (PR) during a race when you don’t expect to.
- What is your favorite distance to race (800, 1600, 3200, 5k)? The 1600m because to me it’s a mixture of the 800m and the 3200m, and I’m also more competitive during the 1600m than any other race
- How do you lead the team? There is a time to have fun and when to put in work, and I show that by my actions
- What character traits make you a good runner? I’m focused on what I need to be doing in order for me to get faster, which is my goal.
- Where do you plan to attend college? Will you run there? I plan on attending North Greenville University, but I don’t plan on running there.
- How would you like your time as an Emerald athlete to be remembered? Doing really well on the 1 mile and to be known as really fast.
- How has running XC changed you as a person? It has changed me as a person by letting me work hard and have fun with different people who I would normally not talk to.