Gavin Rivas’ High Ambitions Motivates Him for Track


Elaine Kuang

Gavin Rivas (11) enters his second year of track with high aspirations.

Elaine Kuang, Staff Writer

The early bird gets out of bed long before the sun rises, it is 5:30 AM and Gavin Rivas (11) is trying to find the roller, a tool that helps runners soothe their muscles, and pack his bag for track. He arrives at 6:45, the cold morning breeze blows through his hair as he sprints onto the track field to find his buddies. 

This is Rivas’ second year in track, and as a sport that he joined solely because it was considered “newbie-friendly,” Rivas is now eagerly looking forward to going to track everyday. According to Rivas, he has zero hand-eye coordination, which made a sport like track perfect for him to get the right amount of exercise while allowing his competitive and energetic spirit to thrive. 

Rivas says, “My favorite thing about track is talking with my friends in the weightroom. The general vibe, running with [friends], racing them, [and] just the people, is really enjoyable.”

The sport itself is a contest, though Rivas is not the only one who is competitive when it comes to running. In fact, Rivas’ competitiveness is hardly the reason why it has kept him on the track team; it is his passion. 

“[I know] he really likes it because it takes a lot of dedication [to stick to a sport]. He’s still trying his best to improve even though it’s not a requirement. He’s passionate about the people [there] and he tries to improve himself because of the people there [as well],” says Athalia Zhou (12). 

Rivas is determined to join track again next year and hopes to continue this path all the way to college. He believes there is no better sport than track that can keep him motivated to improve himself every day. And as one of the top runners on the team, Rivas says he has only one long-term goal: “To beat Lennard.”

Now we may be wondering? Who’s Lennard? According to the people in track, Lennard Deguzman (12) is considered as one of the fastest guys, and needless to say, a luminary existence in the track team. He holds a record of 22.3 seconds for the 200-meter dash, which may not seem like that big of a gap compared to Rivas’ record of 26.29 seconds, but it was enough to ignite his ambitious spirit.

However, since the end of the last school year, Lennard has left the track team, joking that he is going on his retirement. Lennard says he has devoted enough time into track and will be making his leave. But to Rivas, Lennard is still one of his greatest motivations for track.

“I want to beat it (his record) so he has to join back to race me again,” says Rivas.

Unfortunately for Rivas, Lennard has no intentions of returning to track again, but his support for Rivas will never fade. He has high hopes for Rivas and believes that his great ambitions will one day bring him into the big leagues.

“Gavin will be a very good leader for the incoming freshman. I will [also] be super proud of [him when] he beats [my record],” says Deguzman. 

Apart from track and field, Rivas in his spare time, enjoys playing video games, coding, drawing, and writing. He mainly sticks to drawing anime figures and characters, but those who know him will tell you how obsessed he is with Kirby.

“He has Kirby everywhere. He mains Kirby in Smash, doodles it on homework and tests, and has [tons] of Kirby stickers,” says Susanna Wu (12). 

Finally, Rivas is also involved in many clubs on campus. He is one of the co-founding members of Detectives Club and a DM, which stands for a dungeon master, in the school’s DND Club. The two clubs both meet every Friday, with Detectives Club during lunch in D125 and DND Club after school in B122.

And a few last words from Rivas,

“Run. Never stopped running.”