Rizk’s run to success

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During her four years at Downey High School, senior Nisreen Rizk has developed her athletic skills and become one of the Division I San Gabriel Valley League top athletes and competitors. She is currently focusing on the 3200 meter and aiming to break her personal record of 11:26.

Angelica Co, Student Life Editor

Having been a member of the track and cross-country teams since her freshman year, senior Nisreen Rizk has proven her potential as a star athlete. Once a slow runner in the back group, she has worked her way to becoming one of the top runners.

 

“Some people are just naturally fast, but I worked hard to get where I am at today,” Rizk said.

 

Similar to most sports, track and cross-country require a tremendous amount of training that is why this dedicated runner eats and breaths track. Every morning and afternoon, she is typically found on the blacktop working out and figuring out ways to improve. Due to her dedication to the sport, she has arrived in a position where other runners look up to her and ask for her advice.

 

“She is a hard worker and is always dedicated. You can always find her at the track working out, rain or shine,” teammate Meghan Nevarez said. “A lot of people look up to her for advice and as a role model, but also as competition.”

 

At track meets, Rizk is usually found running in the 3200 meter race. In every competition it is usually impossible for an individual to disregard their opponent, but Rizk does not let her competitor take control of her every stride. With the knowledge that she has worked just as hard—or even harder—as the stranger next to her, behind her, and in front of her, she focuses solely on going against herself and performing her best.

 

“I stay focused and visualize the race right before it happens, and I try to stay strong mentally,” the star athlete said. “I don’t think about what place I come in or if I am winning or losing; all I think about is running, trying my best, and leaving everything on the track.”

 

This school year, the graduating athlete received the Most Valuable Player award for cross-country from her coach. After four years of constantly developing her skills, the young star has definitely been a strong competitor, even amongst her teammates. With her best times being 11:26 for 3200 meter, 5:20 for 1600 meter, and 2:24 for 800 meter, she has certainly proven herself to the student body.

 

“She’s super funny and focuses in school as well,” former teammate Brenda Garibay said. “She gets along with everyone and gets her stuff done. But Nisreen and I also push each other especially since we both ran on varsity and hit similar times.”

 

The stadium’s blacktop will unquestionably miss the footsteps of an athlete like Rizk who never failed to impress her coaches, teammates, and family as she ventures out into a new world next fall.