Jose Madera is a soft-spoken, humble and friendly guy. If you had a conversation with him you would never know that he is one of the more successful athletes on the USF campus.
“[My accomplishments] are not really a big deal to me. I don’t show [them] off to anybody, that’s not me, I don’t really pay attention to [them],” says Madera. “I’m just another guy, and I’m just another runner.”
During his freshman season, Jose has already won WCC Freshman of the Year, been named to the First-Team All WCC and set the school record in the 8k, among other accomplishments. Even with Jose’s success, he still isn’t satisfied as he continues to set loftier goals for himself.
“I really want to finish in the top 25 at the [NCAA] West Regionals and be one of the best freshmen in the West region,” says Madera confidently.
Much of Jose’s success can be attributed to his teammates and coaches. He has received an incredible amount of support from them, which made his transition for high school more comfortable. Having a support system around allows Jose to just focus on running and improving his skill.
“I’m doing well right now because of everyone surrounding me, my teammates are always there cheering me on in practices, my coaches are always telling me I’m doing a good job. Even people from back home are supporting me, my high school coach came to one of my races- that’s something that keeps me motivated, to keep everyone at home very proud of me,” says Madera.
Jumping from high school races to college competitions can be a tough one for many freshmen because of the increase of race distances. In high school, runners compete in the 5k, once they come to college they jump straight to the 8k. In the NCAA regionals the race distance increases yet again, this time to 10k.
A freshman, if he qualifies for regionals, will compete in races double the distance he or she is accustomed to, something that can be very taxing on the body. Jose initially felt the extra miles on his body but the constant training has him ready for regionals.
“For me the longer the race the better, the longer it is the stronger I am,” Madera states.
You could say that Madera has been training for these races for years, even though this his first year at the collegiate level. He has been racing since he was in seventh grade. His experience has enabled him to perfect a running style that brings him success. Madera likes to hang with the pack for most of the race until he sees an opportunity to make his move and pass the competition. Although the level of competition has risen, Madera’s running style hasn’t changed.
With the amount of success Madera has achieved comes more pressure. He credits his coaches for not adding even more pressure on him and just allowing him to run.
As this cross country season comes to an end, Jose’s focus will shift to the track season and the off-season, giving him opportunities to improve his already solid running skills. To improve Madera knows exactly what to do- rely on that support system that has helped him get to where he is today.
“To get better I need to keep training and keep listening to my coaches because they know what they’re doing, so far its been working well for me,” Madera says.
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