The Dodge City Community College Cross Country/Track & Field team has name Vanessa DelaCruz and Raymundo Garcia as the 2012 Athletes of the year.
“Vanessa is not only a talented runner on the course but a great leader in our program as well” stated Coach Melanie Smith. “It has been such a pleasure to watch Vanessa begin to come into her own as a distance runner. We have not even begun to see the best of her yet.”
Coach Smith also commented that Vanessa comes to practice every day with a positive attitude and ready to work hard. “Vanessa is one of those athletes that you know leaves it all on the course. I never have to question whether she will work hard or try to get by with less than her best”. This competitive and positive attitude is what facilitated Vanessa to run a personal best several times throughout her freshman cross country season as a Conq. Vanessa competed at the Region Six Conference Cross Country Meet on October 27, 2012 with a time of 20 minutes 35 seconds which is a personal best by almost two and a half minutes compared to her 23:06 time at the first meet of the season.
As a leader Vanessa is the one you can count on to make a positive impact on anyone she comes in contact with. Smith confirmed this saying, “Vanessa has a smile that makes everyone feel welcome on the team. Her’s is most often the first voice I hear encouraging other team mates not only during practice but during meets as well. I can always count on Vanessa to be a positive role model and representative of Dodge City Community College on the track, in the classroom, and in the community”.
“Raymundo has been a great leader on the course and track over the past two years. We can always count on Ray to be consistent in not only his workouts and races but in the classroom and campus community as well” said Coach Smith.
Ray is a sophomore from Moscow Kansas and has competed for the Conq. Cross Country and Track team since the Fall of 2011. “Ray is another Southwestern Kansas kid who you can count on to come to practice and work hard no matter what life brings his way” commented Smith. “He has never ceased to amaze me in that he tore his ACL in high school and continues to run without ever having surgery to correct the injury. I can’t even begin to imagine not only competing with this injury but putting in the miles during practice without an ACL, yet day in and day out Ray shows up ready to work.”
Ray is also involved in the athletic training department here on campus and does a phenomenal job balancing being an athlete, school work, and athletic training. The Conq Cross Country and Track and Field program prides itself in athletes such as Ray who work hard on and off the course/track, get involved on campus, and study hard to accomplish their academic goals which will enable them to continue their educational journey after DC3. Smith wrapped up by saying, “We are very proud of Ray and all that he has accomplished as an athlete, student, and future leader.”