Athlete Spotlight: Ryan Peña

Ask around who the fastest runner at school is, and anyone telling the truth will give you the name Ryan Peña. He is the star of the cross country and track teams: Peña is capable of running a sixteen minute and five second 5k (3.2 miles). That may not seem that difficult for non-runners, but that is, in fact, a school record for one of the courses the team competes at.

Peña has been running since he was in first grade. He was reminded of times he would spend with his mom where she would take him out to a park and challenge him to run laps as fast as he could. In the end, it instilled in him a “love for the thrill of running” that he has kept throughout his years. To be fair, he started with a lot of talent that he was able to build upon; however, even if he did not have the slight natural advantage his work ethic and dedication to running is something that would make him a successful athlete regardless.

When asked about his most impressive statistics, he claimed that “I don’t focus on the numbers. Instead, I pay attention to what is coming next and how I’m gonna accomplish my goals.” He is motivated by his grandfather, who set high expectations for him and his future. Peña works incredibly hard to make him proud. Although he is currently killing it on the cross country courses, Peña is waiting for track season to begin as his all time favorite event is the 800 meter run. He began his career as a runner with track, cross country simply followed suit. 

Ryan has ambitions to continue running through college. As a senior, he has acquired offers from different universities and he is beginning to weigh his options. He stands out as a dedicated student and capable athlete, and his friends, family, and teammates are all very excited to see where his running career will take him.