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By Jeff Pack
Staff Writer 

Contreras steps up for Warriors cross-country team

 

Last updated 10/25/2019 at 12:36pm

Daniel Contreras may not have been Fallbrook High's No. 1 runner when the Warriors' cross-country season began, but his ability to fill in as a leader of the team is why head coach Marco Arias nominated the junior for Athlete of the Week.

"When I lost my No. 1 runner to injury, he stepped in and became the No. 1 runner for our team," Arias said. "This will make us stronger as we go on into league finals and CIF.

"He has emerged as one to watch not only this year but also next year when he returns as a senior," he said.

Contreras is in his third year as a varsity runner for the Warriors and this year, he and the team have big plans.

"The team's goal for this season is something we've been eyeing for the last couple of years, a league title," he said. "We've worked very hard coming up to this point and have a great team this season. In our first league meet of the year, we were able to get second place, but feel like we can make up the points needed to win.

"At the beginning of the season, the team gained several new runners and had picked up a couple of injuries, so for our first races, we couldn't tell where we were actually at. However, over the past few weeks, the team has been able to recoup and gain momentum. Our upperclassmen have all stepped up this season, with several also gaining some great personal records. We've also have gained several new runners all of which have shown a large amount of potential to become great runners."

He said this season, he's not focused on individual goals.

"Right now I'm focused on working with the team to win our league," Contreras said. "With about a month left until league finals, I want to finish up with up strong and hope to get into the top five runners of our league."

Contreras said the small Warriors team has about 15 boys on the team with a five of them being first-year runners. The team also has eight seniors.

The team will compete in the league finals Nov. 16 and at CIF Finals Nov. 23 at San Diego's Morley Field.

"A couple of us are also planning to race at the Footlocker West Regional at Mt. SAC in the beginning of December," Contreras said. "I put in hard training with my team over the summer resulting in me having a great season. In our invites this season, I've been able to place in high positions, and with each result, my confidence in myself has increased. This has allowed me to have some of my best races that I've had over the last three years, one of which includes my personal record for 3 miles."

Contreras said he is considering a career in business or the medical field after he graduates high school. He said his family is his greatest inspiration.

"My brother was a great inspiration for me and is one of the main reasons I even started doing cross-country, and my sister has been there every step with her amazing support and is always helping me with any problems or questions I have," he said. "I've gotten so much support from my whole family, and they are all always there after my races."

He also gives thanks to his teammates and his coaches for his successes thus far.

"One of the most influential people that I've had is my teammate, Josh Hernandez," Contreras said. "Every day he puts in so much effort into everything he does. He is always right there as a person to talk to and someone to push you into becoming the best you can be. Two of my largest thanks I must give are to my coaches, Joel and Arias, both of them show so much care to every single runner they get. Joel makes it to every day that he possibly can, while working another job, and inspires every runner that comes onto the team and is always right there next to me and the other runners whenever we go onto the road.

"Arias has always seen something in me and he continues to push me to become the best runner I can, whenever there was something bringing me down I knew that I could come to him and he would be there to listen and give support," he said.

Get to know Daniel Contreras

Favorite Movie?

None

Favorite TV show?

"Parks & Recreation"

Favorite Musical Artist?

Jon Bellion

Favorite Athlete?

Lionel Messi because he is one of the best soccer players in history and makes every aspect of the game look easy.

Favorite Subject in School?

Math

Favorite Teacher/Coach?

Mr. Arias

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.

 

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