Commerce News reporter Cameron Whitlock talks with Commerce High School student athlete Jose Rodriguez about distance running, sibling rivalries and his literary preferences.
Cameron Whitlock: Were you born and raised in Commerce or did you move here at some point?
Jose Rodrigues: I consider it my home. I’ve been here for most of my life, so yeah pretty much.
CW: You are a three-sport athlete, correct? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and how do you manage your time?
JR: Yeah. (Jose runs cross country, track and plays basketball.) I just go and do them. As soon as I get done (with practices) I just go home and take care of my academics.
CW: What got you into distance running? Is it something you want to continue to pursue in college and throughout life?
JR: I did distance running in middle school, and didn’t even think about running cross country. Then one day, my friend told me to come out. It was more of a social thing at first, but it became bigger whenever (the program) started getting more popular. I’m sure I’ll continue it throughout my life, running 5-Ks and stuff. We’ll see how that goes.
CW: Are there any sports you participate in or are interested in that are not offered at Commerce?
JR: I do really enjoy ultimate Frisbee. Ultimate Frisbee is really fun. And I love hiking.
CW: Your younger sister Madison competes on the cross country and track teams as well. What’s it like competing with a sibling? Do you guys ever quarrel, or do you push each other to be better runners?
JR: We are really competitive. We have a bet, where whoever gets the most medals this year will win something between the two of us. We haven’t decided what yet.
CW: Switching gears, do you have any other hobbies outside of sports?
JR: I love reading.
CW: What’s your favorite thing you’ve read?
JR: I enjoyed the Harry Potter series, the Percy Jackson series and Artemis Fowl.
CW: If you could be any of Marvel’s Avengers, who would you be and why?
JR: Captain America. Because he’s a natural leader.
CW: If you could live in another country, which one would you choose and why?
JR: Italy. I enjoy their food. I plan on going to Italy next summer. You remember our past runner Dominik Lageder? He’s from Italy and Parker (Moon) and I are going to go and stay with him for about two weeks.
CW: What can a 5-K race teach you about yourself? Is there ever a breaking point where you feel like you can’t continue?
JR: I start off a race thinking I’m going to be dead at the end, but as soon as I’m done, I’ve never felt more alive. Usually when I start thinking about (my breaking point), I just think the faster I run, the faster I’ll be done.
CW: Where do you see the Commerce cross country program going in the next three to four years?
JR: I think it has gained a lot of traction. Previously, we didn’t even have a girls’ team. Now we have a girls’ team and extra runners on the boys’ team when there was barely a team a few years prior.
CW: What are your plans for the future? Any colleges or careers in mind?
JR: I want to be a Spanish teacher. I’m bilingual. (Haven’t decided on college choices just yet).
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