Our Tri-C athletes passion, commitment, and challenges

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Our Tri-C athletes passion, commitment, and challenges

Denisse Goepfert 

Woman Track & Field | Image by Snapwire

Being a student-athlete is no easy task. Our athletes commit to long hours of training, meetings, and weekly competitions; while always staying on top of their academic goals, among many other things.  

Our cross-country team represents us with outstanding results every weekend. The team is composed of ten talented and committed Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) students who participate in different categories. Recently, we interviewed Emilia Zavala who is a 21-year-old international student majoring in business management. She is also one of the newest members of the cross-country team. 

Zavala is categorized as a long-distance runner which means she runs around twenty-five miles per week. During an interview with The Voice, she shared her training, challenges, and future goals as a student-athlete.  

Zavala runs five days a week and her training looks slightly different each day. On Mondays, she does her “easy run” which is four miles usually around the Metro campus. Tuesdays are her most challenging days because she has to meet with her team at the Metro campus track and push herself to perform great times with little rest for a long distance. 

“Even though this day can be tough, I enjoy having my teammates with me,” Zavala said. “We push and encourage each other to give our best.”  

Zavala shared that one of her favorite parts about running is discovering new parks and exploring the city.  

Zavala is considered a “new runner” even though no one would believe it because of her outstanding results in a short period. Before becoming a student-athlete she enjoyed working out, but never considered herself an athlete, much less a runner. But this year, getting out of her comfort zone, she proved herself wrong. 

Track and Hurdle | image by Andrea Piacquadio

“For me, running is a freeing experience where I can let everything go with no worries, no stress, and only me and it’s only me and my running shoes for a few hours a day,” Zavala said. “Training always helps me clear my mind and reset for the day.” 

Zavala shared some encouraging words such as: “show up for yourself, this is not an easy journey, look after your health and goals because this is a challenge especially when there are so many more things going around, and remember you are a priority.” 

“I can promise that this is one of the most rewarding and beneficial challenges that I’ve ever had,” Zavala said. Moving your body and keeping it healthy feels amazing. I love realizing that I’m capable of anything I put time, effort, and passion into. So, keep showing up for yourself because you’re already one step closer to your goal.”

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