NewsUplifting Arizona


Gilbert cross-country star volunteers to help younger teens in the sport

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Posted at 9:29 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 00:41:03-05

GILBERT, AZ — Senior Javi Garcia is a cross-country and track star for Gilbert High School. He picked up running just four years ago.

"I definitely started off very slow. I had no idea what I was doing freshman year," says Garcia.

He has improved tremendously over that time.

"My current PR time is a 15:37 in the 5K," says Garcia.

Javi is showing others that with hard work and determination, you can accomplish anything. The 17-year-old even recently placed sixth in the state for cross-country, Division II. Not only is he good at what he does, but he's also a volunteer coach in his spare time, inspiring the next generation.

"I started writing some of their workout plans on what to do, started leading them. I run with them sometimes throughout their practice and help pace them," says Garcia.

He is balancing his schoolwork while coaching four days a week at a local junior high. It's something he started doing last year and, it's already making an impact. "Yeah, my goal is also to run in college. I want to compete and might do coaching... we'll see," says Garcia.

"One of the guys that was on the team last year, he's on our varsity team this year and he's like the second-fastest freshman in the whole entire state. That's just pretty cool, to know him since then and see all the great things he's doing now," says Garcia.

Javi also helps these kids with their schoolwork, all while excelling at academics himself. He is looking forward to a bright future.