Teammates take the lead in track

Sprinter Liliana Rodriguez and distance runner Veronica Flores thrive


Kevin Gutierrez

Pacific Law Academy junior Liliana Rodriguez kicks off the 4×4 relay as first leg. She finished with a time of 1:02 and her team took first place.

When the gun goes off, the pre-race butterflies are gone and suddenly nothing else matters except crossing the finish line in first place.
Although they may not run the same events, for freshman Veronica Flores and Pacific Law Academy junior Liliana Rodriguez, getting first is becoming commonplace.

Rodriguez is a sprinter, so she runs the 400 meter, 4×1, and 4×4 relay.

She used to participate in the Kennedy Games, so running was something she already had an affinity for.
Rodriguez started running varsity her sophomore year when she felt like getting more involved in school activities. After her dad heard about this, he showed her all the different events track had to offer.
“(Track) helped me get out of my shell,” she said. “I became more social because of all the friends I met in it.” In league, Rodriguez is No. 1 in the 400 meter race.
On the other hand, Flores got into track just this year after first competing in cross country. She decided to join cross country when her father encouraged her to.
Flores was a natural, for she ran varsity, became No. 1 in league, and dominated girls that were older than her without any previous experience.
Once track season was around the corner, her cross country coach suggested that Flores should join track.
From there on Flores became a long distance runner, this consists of her races being the 800, 1600, and 3200. Flores ran varsity and soon enough became one of the top runners in league, a large feat for not only a freshman, but as someone who has not done anything like in the past.
The adrenaline is something Rodriguez and Flores both enjoy.
“I always get nervous before my events, but once I start running and hear everyone yelling ‘Go Lily!’… it’s an amazing experience.” Rodriguez said, “When I win, it makes me feel like I achieved my goal.”
For Flores, her butterflies start kicking in when she gets on the starting line, but as soon as the gun goes off, she is set on defeating her opponents.
One of Flores’ motivation is bringing home a banner for Stagg. She said, “I’m always bringing medals home, but if I bring a banner for Stagg, it’ll be around forever.”