Sportlight: seniors reflect on seasons

Mary Devine

ASST. SPORTS EDITOR

 

Osvaldo Cerda, senior, cross country/track long distance runner.

Alex Hernandez, senior lacrosse defenseman.

Zyania Morales, senior, water polo attacker.

Osvaldo Cerda, senior, cross country/track long distance runner.

Alex Hernandez, senior, lacrosse defenseman.

Zyania Morales, senior, water polo attacker.

 

1.) What inspired you to try out your sport?

Cerda: I began running to be with friends because they did the sport. Also, I wanted to work on my fitness.

Hernandez: I’ve always lived in a sports household where we were encouraged to participate in athletics. A good friend was playing lacrosse and the new sport challenged/intrigued me. Also, my dad gave a big push for my brother and I to try something new.

 Morales: My older sister played for the Commerce Aquatics Water Polo Club and she was really good.  She inspired me to play and try to be as good as her.

 

2.) How long have you played your sport?

Cerda: It’s been 7 years now.

 Hernandez: This will have been my 9th year playing lacrosse.

Morales: Since I was 7, so for the last 15 years.

 

3.) What are your best personal records?

Cerda: My fastest time was 25 minutes and 46 seconds for an 8k run in the 2015 season at the Stanford Invitational. 

Hernandez: Since high school I have been recognized for being a top scholarly athlete, as academics are important to both my parents and me.

MAKING A SPLASH: Senior, attacker Zyania Morales was a tough defender for the Poets, as well as a leading scorer.

MAKING A SPLASH: Senior, attacker Zyania Morales was a tough defender for the Poets, as well as a leading scorer.

4.) Do you have any rituals you do before a game? 

Cerda: Before races, I like to listen to music to pump myself up. Then I always get on one knee at the starting line, say a little prayer, and tell myself I have worked hard in my training and that it’s time for me to go out there and give it my all. 

Hernandez: Music, and I always have a little vile of Ginseng to get some extra energy going. I also retape my stick before every game.

Morales: I have to listen to hype Spanish music before every game.

 

5.) Do you have a lucky object? 

Cerda: I like to wear the same pair of racing socks. I do wash them between races. I also like to wear a cross. 

Hernandez: I wear my Saint Christopher around my neck.

Morales: My iPod.

 

6.) What is another favorite sport of yours? 

Cerda: Besides running, my favorite sport is soccer. I love it because it was the first sport I ever played. 

Hernandez: It’s probably a tie between soccer and football.

Morales: Soccer.

 

7.) Where is your hometown? 

Cerda: Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico, but I now live in Montebello, CA. I’ve been in this country for 12 years. 

Hernandez: San Diego.

Morales: Bell Gardens/Commerce, CA.

 

8.) What are you plans for the future?

Cerda: First to graduate with a double major in Spanish and KNS with a pre-Physical Therapy emphasis. Then, to take a year off working as a physical therapist aide, travel, try to do some research, and then apply for graduate school.

Hernandez: Get my masters and teaching credentials 

Morales: After graduation I’m taking a year off and will be traveling, starting in Thailand.  After that I’ll go to grad school, where I’ll hopefully be a graduate assistant for a water polo program.

9.) What is your favorite part of being a Poet?

Cerda: My favorite part of being a Poet is the support that all athletes show for one another no matter the sport. Everyone always congratulates each other for their accomplishments and tries their best to support each other at their athletic events.

Hernandez: The strong sense of community that the school has gives a great atmosphere.

Morales: My crazy teammates.

Osvaldo Cerda has been a top runner for the Poets during his four years.

Osvaldo Cerda has been a top runner for the Poets during his four years.

10.) Any words of wisdom to incoming Poet Athletes? 

Cerda: I recommend to learn how to balance both school and academics. Ask for guidance from the upperclassmen, coaches, and teachers to be able to be both a good athlete and a student. Learn as much as you can from both your athletics and your studies these next four years in college, because they will help shape your bright future that’s ahead.

Hernandez: Don’t take anything for granted. Enjoy all the little things.

Morales: Don’t give up because you’re going to be in the same position as us, and when you lose a championship, you’re going to remember my words.

 

11.) Any interesting game stories?

Cerda: Nationals this year. It was our first time qualifying in a nerve- wracking way. During the last mile, our team worked together pushing each other, literally running side by side each other to give it our all. This was even more special because of the Cinderella story we had this year starting unranked in the preseason to having our school’s highest cross country ranking. We kept on saying this at the end “Poets write their own story” and that day we wrote our story.

Hernandez: None that I can think of.

Morales: Sophomore year, we went into the championship game as the 3rd seed against Pomona, who was the 1st seed.  Half our team got kicked out of the game and we pulled off the win, clenching the SCIAC title for the first time in the program’s history.

12.) Any gnarly battle scars? 

Cerda: I have had a couple injuries in college, but the most memorable and impacting one I had was the end of my junior year. I got a stress fracture during the Western Regionals race of the season. After that race, I had to make the decision not to run for a while. I was not able to run or race for about 7 months. This was really hard on me because running was part of my college experience and I didn’t want to let the team down, but more importantly, myself. But, thanks to the support of friends, family, teammates, coaches, athletic trainers, and physical therapists, I was able to recover to run my senior year and accomplish the goal my teammate Ruben and I had set since the first day we met on our recruiting team, which was to make Nationals as a team.

Hernandez: Not so much scars, but this season I dislocated my shoulder for the 8th time.

Morales: I have permanent scratch marks all over my arms from girls cutting me with their nails.

Senior, defenseman Alex Hernandez helped lead the Poets as one of the three captains this season.

Senior, defenseman Alex Hernandez helped lead the Poets as one of the three captains this season.