Alfredo Lebron is a 2012 graduate of Moffat County High School and one of the most successful runners in school history.
He won the individual state championship in cross-country as a senior and placed fourth as a junior. He was a two-time state champion at the 2012 Colorado 4A Track and Field State Championships and owns the Moffat County record in the 800-meter run.
During his senior year in Craig, Lebron committed to run at Garden City Community College. After a difficult senior track season, in which Lebron did not meet all his goals because he was not allowed to run for significant parts of the season, he trained during the summer to prepare for a new experience.
Lebron’s talent as a runner is undeniable, but the end of his high school career and beginning of college have been up and down. In Part One, which published in the Saturday edition of the Craig Daily Press, his first season as a collegiate runner was covered. Here, the story will look forward to the coming track season and beyond in Part Two.
Alfredo Lebron believes he is a stronger competitor on the track than cross-country.
That’s why the freshman at Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kan., is looking forward to his first season of competitive collegiate track. Lebron said his inconsistent cross-country season still was a positive experience, so he feels it will give a boost to his track performance.
“This track season will definitely help” me mentally, Lebron said. “Cross is a major factor for how I do in track, so running the one good time will be good. If I start to run some good times (in track), it will really be worth it.”
Lebron owns the Moffat County High School 800-meter record and is looking forward to getting back into the middle-distance events he has had success with in the past.
Head coach Dan Delgado also is excited to see Lebron on the track. Delgado said the freshman is capable of being a top runner at any distance.
“What I told Alfredo from the day I recruited him is he has the ability to be an 800-meter runner, 1,500 (meter), steeplechase, 5,000 meter, 10,000 meter,” Delgado said. “He’s a runner. If he sets his limitations to just what he wants instead of what he is, then he’s not reaching his potential as a runner.”
Lebron is approaching the season with hopes of excelling in the 800, the distance at which he felt he was at his best in high school. He plans on trying each distance but believes he will find a niche at the middle distance.
One challenge for the coach and athlete will be a slight change in training. Garden City’s track team has been a more long-distance exclusive program, without sprinting or field coaches. So Lebron’s desire to run shorter distances would require a potentially different training regimen.
Delgado has no opposition to Lebron taking on shorter races, but he also hopes the young runner will come to see he should be succeeding in every race and distance he attempts.
“I don’t care what he runs,” Delgado said. “What I do care is when he sets his foot down, he becomes the runner he is. When Alfredo Lebron decides to put his foot down and say, ‘Yes, I am a runner. What would you have me run? What would you have me do for you?’ That’s when we’ll see his best.”
While the runner and coach may have different ideas before the season begins, Lebron’s attitude seems to be in the right place. He feels the experience of cross-country has given him an opportunity have a breakout shot.
“To me, track is more my sport,” he said. “I think I’ll be able to take on more of a leadership role. I want to help all the other guys out. I already know more of what to expect, so I’m planning on doing a whole lot better.”
Both men see a bright future for Lebron, so long as he is able to find balance in his life.
“He’s blessed with speed and stamina as good as you would find from any international runner,” Delgado said. “But also, Alfredo buys into this mindset of, ‘I don’t feel like it today, or I’m not feeling it today.’ That’s not true. Once we get Alfredo moving (away from that), to a taste of success and accomplishing his studies, then we’ll leave it all behind. We believe it can be done sooner than later here at Garden City.”
Lebron knows he has aspects of his life to get in order but also sees big possibilities if he is able to accomplish it.
“Looking far into the future, if I ever got the chance to run on an Olympic level, I’d love to take that opportunity,” he said. “I still have a lot of time to improve, and I feel like I could do it. I just need to stay focused on the schooling aspect of it. I’m a lot more focused on my running than last year. Definitely, last (track season) I didn’t care about running. That’s all changed.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.