Shortly after Santos Roquel ran in his first competition, he realized he had a gift. Last year, the Beaverton High School senior placed 15th of 1,000 runners at the Helvetia Half Marathon.
“He’s just a natural runner,” said school counselor Liz Perez.
She says Santos is an inspiration to his peers. The 20-year-old immigrated from Guatemala a few years ago and balances his academics with his full-time night job.
“It’s important to show you have a talent to run and you are a good student and you’re a responsible adult. You do everything you need to do to maintain a good life. I think a lot of students need to see that as well,” Perez said.
Santos joined the school running club last year and grew passionate for the sport.
“Crossing the end line -- you just feel happy for all your hard work,” he said.
He talks to MORE about his dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. He fell short of the qualifying time during the Portland Marathon. He a 6:22 pace for the first 20 miles before cramping set in. His second attempt will be during the Eugene Marathon in May.
“My goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon no matter what,” he said.
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