Coyote runner chooses La Verne
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Victoria Medrano is surrounded by her parents after signing her National Letter of Intent to run cross country and track at the University of La Verne.
Following in her brother’s footsteps, Madera High School’s Victoria Medrano will be heading to a university for athletics.
Medrano’s brother, Raul, is playing football at Luther College in Iowa. Meanwhile, Victoria signed a National Letter of Intent to run track and cross country at the University of La Verne.
Medrano received interest from La Verne earlier this year and followed it up into a recruiting trip and workout that led to her committing to the school.
“I got an email to apply to the school and was looking at their athletics,” she said. “I was following their cross country team on Instagram. Their coach reached out to me and he seemed like a genuine person who I had the same ideals with and how I wanted to continue with my running. I was able to go out and practice with them in early March. I went after one of my track meets in Los Angeles. I worked out with them to see their unity. I fell in love with the school. I got a tour, also.”
Medrano leaves Madera very decorated in both athletics and academics. She graduated with a 4.3 grade point average and is one of the most involved students on the MHS campus.
“With my mom, she is very giving and loves to be around the community,” she said. “They raised me to be out and about at events. My brother, Raul, was an athlete, too. I was always there so why not do something while I was there so I helped in the snack bar a lot. I joined leadership when I was in middle school. It just continued to my senior year.”
Mderano, who was named the Kenny Taylor Most Inspirational Athlete of the Year, plans to major in biology with a minor in kinesiology to become a sports medicine doctor.
She will run at La Verne, which is something she enjoys doing.
“Since an early age, I fell in love with running,” Medrano said. “I started cross country in the third grade. My dad was a runner, as well. That’s where my running came from. I played a little softball and basketball, but running was my priority. I did cheer my freshman and sophomore year, but realized I needed to take running more serious.”
Medrano got to watch her brother sign a National Letter of Intent and realized it was something she could do, as well.
“It was a very surreal experience to sign my name,” she said. “I saw my brother do it last year. I think that’s when I felt I wanted to do this, for sure. We’re very close in age, two years, roughly. Being so close in age and growing up together, going through our own athletics and different experiences, he’s been a very big inspiration to me.”
With two children in college, Medrano’s parents are happy to see them go and play in college.
“They are happy to see us both go to college especially since they have given so much time and money to get us to where we are,” she said.
Victoria might become the favorite because she is closer to home than Raul.
“I told my mom she can come to visit me and watch my races. I’m on the beach in Santa Monica,”Victoria said. “When I went to visit the school and practice with the team, my parents were taking Raul to LAX to go back to Iowa. It worked out. He gets to go out there and I’m in LA. So, when he comes home, we’ll meet there.”
Medrano has gone through three coaches during her four-year career at Madera, including first-year coach April Smith this season.
“She’s totally different than (Russ) Stanford,” Medrano said. “He (Stanford) definitely helped shape me into the runner I am.”
Smith was hired late into the summer workout season and Medrano and the team had to play catch-up during cross country season.
“I was very happy with my track season,” Medrano said. “Cross country season started shaky because we didn’t have a coach at the beginning of the year. Training by ourselves all summer, not knowing what to expect was kind of interesting. Meeting our new coach, I was kind of nervous. She’s an amazing coach and truly gained my trust. She has an amazing connection with her athletes. That developed through cross country season and started in track. We were fully in. She knew what she wanted to do with our team. I had full trust in her and she got me where I wanted to be.”
She explained that to the La Verne coach and they were supportive. When she set personal records in the 800 meter run, the coaches became more interested.
“I explained to him that I got a late start to my cross country season,” she said. “I was hoping to get a personal record again and again and again in track season. That continued to happen in the 800 meters and 4X400 meter relay (2nd leg). I usually run the mile, but we decided to switch it up and I’m happy about it.”
Medrano continues a run of MHS female athletes getting an opportunity in college and is happy to be a part of it.
“That’s amazing to see females go to college,” she said. “They all put in just as much work in and out of school. It’s amazing that we grew up together and I’m able to see them go out and further their careers. I wish them the best of luck.”
With the success Medrano had at Madera High, she is ready for the opportunity at the University of La Verne.
“I’m excited to go to school,” she said. “I will miss my family, friends and teammates. We have gotten so close over the years. My family has always been there for me. I’m excited for this change and this opportunity to continue with the sport that has been there for me.”