On January 6th, at The Armory Hispanic Games, WHSAD Junior, Robert Tirado, came up big in both the 55 and 200 meter events, setting Van Arsdale records in both. The following is an interview in which Robert shares some of his thoughts about the experience and how track and field has been part of his life.
Tell the story of when you first became interested in running.
I remember back in middle school I used to race my friends and people in the school for fun, which made me realize that i’m actually pretty good at running. At the time, I aimed to keep going and join the track team in high school. Also, my mom ran back in the day, so another thing that interested me was to be faster than her. We used to race home after school almost every day back in elementary.
How has participating in track competitions helped you in other aspects of your life?
With track competitions it taught me to be humble and also to know there’s always someone out there better than me. Therefore, it’s best to work harder to compete and aim to be one of the best at anything I do, competition or not, which got me to where I am now.
Describe your training program.
For a training regiment, we start with stretches in the beginning We do things like opening and closing gates and other stretches for legs primarily. After that we do things with smaller sized hurdles to make sure our form is good when running. Then we go slower but use higher hurdles to finish up warm ups. After those we get to the workout which could be more weight room type lifting or running mostly. Either way both are needed when running track. Lastly, we stretch one more time so we’re not sore the next day.
What do you hope to achieve over the rest of your high school career?
For the rest of my high school career I mainly aim to break the 300 indoor record then move into the outdoor season to take the 100, 200 and also qualify for nationals. My end goal is to go division one for track and field and get a scholarship to keep my track career going and take it as far as possible.
Provide a description of what it feels like to participate in track events.
During track events in the beginning you could either feel confident or not, and the warm ups and stretches might feel easy. Once the officials call your event or call your heat to the line and say on your marks all the nerves come back and the adrenaline starts to kick in. But once the gun goes off all, the nerves go away, and you have to show what all the practice was really for and show out for the team and for yourself.
How did you feel when you set two school records?
It does still feel wild to me. I didn’t expect it at all. I knew I was close, but I didn’t expect to take them both the same day. When I took the 55 record, it surprised me since I didn’t even feel like I got it. In my mind I thought “Nah, I didn’t get it.” Then I saw the time and could not believe it. I jumped around, looking for my team. It was a really good time. For the 200, I didn’t expect it either since I knew I could have done better, but I got it done and aim to improve on the 200 and the 55 while i still can.