Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South track athlete and basketball player Junior Segura is all smiles after signing his National Letter of Intent to run track at York College. Front row, from left are Antonio Cortes, Segura and Christy Cortes. Back row, from left are Jessenia Christopherson, Mikayla Martinez, David Thomas, Kingsley Thomas, Ian Duran, Isaac Martinez and Noe Herrera.
Madera South’s Junior Segura is widely known across the Central Section for his basketball skills, but he is also good running track.
So good that he attracted the attention of coaches in Nebraska. Segura signed his National Letter of Intent to run track at York College in Nebraska next fall.
“They found me,” Segura said. “I put some of my times on a recruiting website. They texted me and called me. I was getting looked at from track and basketball. They were offering more for track and it made it easier and cheaper for me to pay my tuition.”
Segura was an all league selection in basketball the past few years. However, he was just as successful on the track.
“I’ve been running track since I was in the seventh grade,” he said.
Segura, who was getting calls from junior colleges, might still get a chance to play basketball at York.
“I am going to miss basketball,” he said. “York will let me walk on to the basketball team. They said a lot of athletes play two sports. I will probably talk to the track coach to see if I could play basketball. I had a few JC’s looking at me for basketball. I really didn’t want to do that. I wanted to do what I was better at and that was at track.”
He also had some colleges in the Midwest interested in him running track.
“I chose York because of the way their program was going,” he said. “They could use me more than the other colleges would have. I was a better fit for them. I liked the program. I talked to the coaches and they seem pretty cool.”
However, York came at a surprise to Segura. After a few negotiations, he got the deal he wanted.
“It surprised me when they contacted me,” he said. “I woke up one day and they emailed me and asked if they could contact me as soon as possible. He texted me and we went back and forth for a week. He wanted to offer me a scholarship. I talked to my coaches and parents. Coach Eloy (Quintana) talked to him and they offered me a little more. That made it even better. My parents say it was a good idea. They wanted me to get out of here and do something good for myself.”
Segura plans to run the 200, 400 and 800 with York College while majoring in criminal justice with plans to become a California Highway Patrol officer.
“They said, if I kept getting better, they would give me more scholarship money,” he said.
Despite heading to the Midwest, he has the backing of his parents, however, he’s not too comfortable about the Midwest winters.
“My parents think it’s a good idea because they will pay for a lot of my tuition,” Segura said. “The coaches want me on the team because they are losing runners in my events. They liked the direction I was going with my time. I’m not ready to go to the Midwest because it snows back there. I’m ready to change. I’m not scared.”