With the 2020 Track season coming to an abrupt end, these three athlete's seasons were cut short. Despite not being able to showcase their progression for their senior year, we were able to sit down with star athletes Juan Olmos, Elias Perez, and Eileen McLain to talk about their time at Eastwood and what colleges they'll be running for. We were also able to sit down with Coach McLain who had a lot of praise for these three seniors. Here what they have to say:
TxMileSplit -Tell us a little bit about the journey that Elias and Juan have had over the 4 years running for you at Eastwood. Why are these young athletes special?
C. McLain - Elias- Elias's middle school career didn't really show the natural abilities you would expect to have seen out of a runner who finished his HS career as an all state runner and two time NXN qualifier. He was 16th at his MS district XC meet. When he showed up at Eastwood basketball was his main focus, but he really was drawn to the culture of hard work and soon XC/track became his main focus. As he got faster and faster each year, he challenged himself with very high goals, and he would take these goals to his coaches and challenge them to help him reach these goals. And he leaves Eastwood not just known in the city but in the state and nation. He is the only El Paso runner to ever finish top 10 at Woodbridge, and lead his team to two NXN appearances the first and only appearances by any El Paso teams in history.
C. McLain Juan - Juan has a personality that is one of a kind. He is funny, hard working, and will tell you what he thinks weather you want to hear it or not. He is also the runner that will spend time stretching after practice with that younger runner who doesn't get much attention. Juan came in as a young talented runner who was very focused on what he needed to do to get better, he leaves four years later as someone who you can never keep down, who will always overcome the obstacles placed in front of him. He still is focused on how he can improve himself, but he is now also focused on how to improve his team.
Both- Going into their seniors years they had not been the leaders on our team, but what has become an annual occurrence at Eastwood Juan and Elias rose up to the challenge their senior years and developed into leaders.
TxMileSplit -What surprised you the most about them and how do you think all of this will translate well into the collegiate scene?
C. McLain - Elias - There is something inside Elias that wants to be great, he doesn't just want to do something, and he wants to be great at it. I think this is needed as an athlete moves onto the next level; talent alone can get you through HS but not college.
Juan - What surprised me was Juan's ability to stay focused and positive at times that others had a hard time. Juan also runs best in the big meets.
TxMileSplit - Lastly, which performance of them stand out to you the most and why?
C. McLain - For Elias it was The Woodbridge meet. There were so many fast runners and no El Paso kid has ever finished in the top 10 there and the whole race was like me looking at him in the eye and without saying a word it was like man you're running fast!!For Juan I would have to say Nike South 2019, 12th place seeing him stand on the stand and getting a Nike T shirt was very cool.
Juan Olmos and Elias Perez after a hard fought battle at Nike Cross Nationals.