Star of Two Sports

Cross Country and Track Runner Places High in State Championships

Alejandro Ambrosio

Alejandro Ambrosio

Ricardo Nuno, Staff Writer

He was 10 years old when he had to leave his friends and family behind to start a new life, make new friends, learn a new language and be the new kid in school. And that was  just the start for track and field star Alejandro Ambrosio.

Ambrosio was born in a small town in Oaxaca, México. Growing up in Mexico he described it as “not being too bad” his parents had a steady income where his mother owned a store in their pueblo.

Ambrosio has gone on to become a star in track and field at Glendale Community College. He placed fifth in the SoCal Cross County Championship and 20th place in the State Championship in 2016. This year, Ambrosio then placed second in the Western State Conference for the 1,500 meter, first place for the 5,000 meter and the 10,000 meter.

“He’s loyal, his loyalty to his teammates, to the program, to the coaches, he never talks bad about people, he’s always smiling and he loves to run,” said cross country coach Eddie Lopez.

A native of Mexico, Ambrosio is an AB540 student, a law that was made on October 12, 2001, and was signed by Governor Grey Davis to come into effect. AB 540 is a law that helps students who weren’t born in the U.S qualify for exemption from nonresident tuition and some forms of financial aid. The student must at least have attended high school for at least 3 years. It is also required that the user must file for residency as soon as possible.

Alejandro Ambrosio

“In the 12th grade I wanted to try something different so I joined Students Run LA, and that trains you to prepare for a marathon,so little by little I  started to do more distances until I did the run finally,” he said.

From there Ambrosio’s peers and teachers encouraged him to join the track team. Ambrosio to his surprise found himself going to the city finals on what he calls a good experience.

Ambrosio said he is inspired by his parents because they are hard working people and that’s where he feels he gets his work ethic from. His drive comes from wanting to be the best at everything he does, it’s just his competitive nature and wanting to leave a legacy behind.

Lopez, said his first impression of Ambrosio was quiet and soft spoken. But after team members voiced their opinions that there’s more to the all-around athlete.

“He’s a well rounded athlete, good student, never misses practice and he’s always doing more,” Lopez said. “He runs about 90 miles a week that’s a lot of running.”

Ambrosio said his childhood was good and playful growing up. He described himself as an active kid. His parents, having a steady income, allowed him to focus on school and to have fun. He would spend hours going out into nature and playing soccer with family and friends.

“It wasn’t always play and school for me; my mother believed I had to have a good work ethic, so she regularly gave me chores,” Ambrosio said. “One of the best memories to take care of my cousin’s herd of animals, even though I wasn’t demanded to do such work, I found it fulfilling because I would be around nature and good company,” Ambrosio said.

Coming to the states and enrolled in the fifth grade, and said the hardest adjustments was getting accustomed to the culture here and learning English.

“Being the oldest is especially hard because I had no one to help me with my homework and it was a struggle but I eventually learned,” Ambrosio said.

Ambrosio said that the language barrier and being a shy person made it hard   to make friends here, but later learned to skate and that’s where he was able to form friendships.

Back in Mexico he would have to travel if he wished to further his education. He’d have to leave his family live on his own and depend on his parents to send him supplies to survive and go to school.

Alejandro Ambrosio gets a few steps on his opponent at the SoCal Track Finals

Ambrosio has to bike 10 miles from his home to GCC. He says he doesn’t mind biking, at first he says it was difficult but he got used to it. Also that biking those miles has helped him prepare for his races.

Coach Lopez recalls a memory where Ambrosio missed the van going to West LA and a friend saw him riding a bike all the way to the meet and still won the races.

Lopez described it as a wow moment for him, but he know that Ambrosio won’t ask for a ride to meets so he has assigned the captain to make sure he always does.

“He’s loyal, his loyalty to his teammates, to the program, to the coaches, he never talks bad about people, he’s always smiling and he loves to run,” Lopez said.

Ambrosio said he liked the coaches here in GCC. “ The coaches really helped me they really pushed me to do my best and I feel like without them I wouldn’t be where I am and I’d like to thank them.”