Athlete of the Issue: Ivan Roa

Athlete of the Issue: Ivan Roa

By Alexis Galarza Posted March 10, 2023

Not only is Ivan Roa a star in the classroom he is also a star on the course. His dedication to his sports and his character is more radiant than the shoes on his feet. This need for running sprouted in his early
years of junior high school.

“I only ever do running sports so cross country and track and field are the ones I’ve done throughout high school,” said Roa. “I’ve been running in track since my seventh-grade year at the junior high.”

However, Roa has now decided to stop running track and field and put all his effort into running cross country. Roa has been on the cross-country team since his sophomore year of high school.

Roa was coached by the same coaches in both track and field and cross country but the freedom of cross country stuck to Roa more than track and field. “My favorite sport was cross country because I enjoyed the free running outdoors and all the great views while not being constrained to a circle track,” said Roa. Although the freedom of cross-country comes at a cost. Roa has to take into account everything
he is eating and ways to stay full of nutrients. He also has to plan practice times outside of cross-country practice to continue to improve.

“On my own time I have to keep track of how much I eat and how healthy it is, I have to make sure I get enough sleep to keep myself functioning,” said Roa.

Roa even plans what he is going to eat the day before and the day of meets to maximize his success.

“On big meets especially I do all of this [eat enough and drink six water bottles a day] and have a meal high on carbs for the next day like spaghetti or something similar,” said Roa.

Not only does Roa prepare physically, but he also prepares mentally before a big meet.

“Then I have to run the race in my head before we even get there since I have to picture myself winning and exactly how I run the whole race to run my best,” said Roa

Roa’s work ethic and dedication stem from his hero, his dad.

“My dad inspires me the most since he can work constantly without complaint,” said Roa. “As far as I can remember he goes to work at 6 a.m. every day and comes back home at 10 p.m. and does this every day including weekends.”

Roa’s father taught him to keep pushing through whatever without complaining. Roa hopes to grow as an individual that is similar to his father’s character.

Running cross-country is not something one can just jump into, mental and physical preparation are big aspects of the sport. Throughout the years Roa has developed strategies to keep his strong discipline intact and to overcome the challenges of cross country.

“I have to overcome countless challenges every season whether they were mental or physical there was always something,” said Roa. “Even the recovery days were a struggle and I had to refine my mental state every day before practice and constantly throughout the day so I wouldn’t quit.”

 Ivan Roa pushes hard to fi nish
the race./ Ron Espinola • The
Ivan Roa pushes hard to finish the race./ Ron Espinola • The Brand