Ochoa continues running legacy


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune Madera South’s Victor Ochoa (seated) and his family are all smiles after Ochoa signed his National Letter of Intent to run cross country and track at Minot State University.

 

Madera South cross country runner Victor Ochoa continued the program’s legacy of sending runners to college by signing his National Letter of Intent to attend Minot University.

Ochoa’s signing gives the Stallions 14 runners at the collegiate level over the past five years.

“It’s great to have a team that has a reputation for that to teach me to be the person I am today,” he said. “It’s amazing to keep the legacy going. Seeing Lalo (Herrera) and the others sign makes me want to go, too.”

Ochoa signed his letter in front of family and friends during the early signing period in early December.

“It feels amazing to be in front of everybody signing in front of my family,” he said.

He had been considering Northern Arizona University and Berkeley, but Minot gave Ochoa the best package.

“They offered me the best,” Ochoa said. “They made me feel comfortable and at home. It felt amazing.”

Ochoa, who was a member of the eighth and ninth Madera South cross country valley championship teams, is proud to be able to keep the legacy going.

“I want to pass this to the other kids,” Ochoa said. “I want them to go to college and experience it. It’s great to be a part of the legacy. Winning the eighth and ninth Valley Championship and being a part of the state championships was a great feeling.”

Madera South cross country head coach Eloy Quintana said that with Ochoa keeping the legacy going is something the program is proud of.

“Our program is measured by how many titles we win with league and valley,” he said. “But, really, it should be held by is how many kids we can get to college with some kind of scholarship. That’s what this program holds its hat on.”

Ochoa is excited about the opportunity to run in college, but he is also proud of being able to set the example for the underclassmen.

“That’s a great feeling to be able to set the example for the kids here and kids coming up,” Ochoa said.

“It’s a special thing to get kids to college,” Quintana said. “You have to give credit to the kids in the past. They have opened doors for the kids of today and those kids today will open doors for kids of tomorrow. It’s a tradition that will keep going. It may not be the biggest colleges in the world, but they are going somewhere to get their education and make a difference in their and their family’s lives.”

By signing in December, Ochoa is excited to be able to enjoy the rest of his senior year.

“It feels really, really nice,” he said. “It’s a lot of relief and it’s a lot off my shoulders. I’m going to college. I didn’t know where to pick a college before this year.”

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