Standing at 6 feet 3 inches tall and tipping the scales at a mere 150 pounds, Ivan Alvarado may not come across as your typical college student. But with brightly colored hair, piercings, and tattoos, this 20-year-old cross-country member is one of the most likable, down to earth people you will come across.
In the seventh grade, it was Alvarado’s uncle, Carlos Segura, a marathon runner, who sparked his love for the sport. Entering his freshmen year at Hoover High School, Alvarado joined the track team and started training with senior All-American David Lopez.
“He was awesome,” said Alvarado. “I really wanted to be like him. He was a great role model.”
After graduation in 2000, Ivan began attending GCC and became a member of the cross-country team.
“I love the team, and the coaching staff is awesome,” said Alvarado. “I just wish the school were a little more supportive, since it is not a major sport.”
However, never one to give up, Alvarado did not let a lack of campus support stop him from dominating his first race of the year as he finished first. “It felt really good to win the first race,” said Alvarado. “I gave it 100 percent.”
With the season coming to an end, and with several top-10 finishes, Alvarado’s goals are simple. “I just want to give it 100 percent every time I’m out there.”
As for the people who give Alvarado his motivation, “[he] really admire[s] Sammy Sosa and Tim Brown, because they give it 100 percent and have a great work ethic.”
After a 2 1/2 year stint at GCC, at the end of this semester Alvarado go on a scholarship to the University of Utah. The wrestling fan will major in kinesiology, the study of the human body, and hopes to one day become a teacher.
“Education is going downhill and I want to do my part by helping,” said Alvarado. But for next year, he would just like to make it to the NCAA Nationals with Utah.
With a positive attitude and strong motivation, Alvarado is confident about a successful future in track.
Thanking his Hoover coach Greg Switzer and the GCC coaching staff, Alvarado humbly admitted, “they have brought back my fire inside of me.”