"I was expecting to get top five, but I wasn't expecting to get second at all, it was just getting on that grind the whole year," Corona said. That grind just happened two years ago when he started running for real and he took a liking to it. 'I don't want to say I was slow the past few years, but I definitely wasn't at the top. The fact that I could keep up with everybody that's like big dawgs, it's a dream honestly."
Last year, he lowered his 5K PR to 16:12.47 and he ran a 15:37.90 at regionals last year on the three mile course for 32nd place. This year, Corona has been sub 16 in five of his seven races this season and he credits his improvement to his endurance and strength training.
With state coming up, this performance changes his thoughts about placing at state. He goes from never qualifying for state to possibly running himself into medal position. "I'm not exactly sure what I want to do yet, It definitely makes me change my goals about what I want to do at state, more than I thought before."
"It feels amazing, but I can't celebrate, it's just the regional meet, we still have the state meet"
Alfredo Reina Corona, Haltom City senior
One goal for sure has to be trying to secure a college scholarship. After an improved 2019 cross country season where Corona improved by leaps and bounds, he went from running 18:53 as a sophomore to 16:12. Junior year is when he lost track season to COVID like all others and college coach evaluations have almost halted, this is his opportunity to prove himself as a collegiate level runner.
Although going from nowhere to the state meet in one year, Corona won't get too high on things just yet. He plans to show the world who he is at the state meet.
Expect Corona to stay on his grind until state is over with; this will be a business trip for the Haltom City senior. "It feels amazing, but I can't celebrate, it's just the regional meet, we still have the state meet, I don't even have any (college scholarship) offers right now, I just want to get a good education."