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MTZ’s Sofia Munoz heads to Purdue for track and cross country

Sofia Munoz singing her letter of intent around her family and coaches to run track and field and Cross Country at Purdue University.

By BLAKE FAITH
Staff Writer

Mt. Zion track and field and cross country runner Sofia Munoz chose Purdue University to further her athletic career and academics.

“Purdue was always my top option academically and I really loved the campus a lot when I visited it casually over the summer,” Munoz said. “And then as I started doing better as a senior, it became a real option for me, running wise and that became really exciting. And then I got a text from the coach and ever since then, it was my number one option and I loved my visit. I really, really clicked with the coaches and the team and I really think that I’m gonna feel loved and accepted.”

Munoz is a part of state tournament appearances by the Braves in track and field and in cross country. Munoz medaled twice as an individual and broke two school records in her final state championship for the Braves. In the 800 meters, Munoz finished in fourth place with a time of two minutes and 15 seconds and an eighth-place medal in the 1600 meters with a time of five minutes and 11 seconds.

“I mean the talent was there from the very start,” Head coach Kelly Fox said. “She’s top of her class and she’s going into engineering. She’s got it all together, great family structure, she’s the whole kitten caboodle. I’d say her versatility is the mark she’ll leave on this program. She’s going to leave that mark because like even now going into the state meet, um, you’re here interviewing me before Thursday, so I don’t know exactly what we’re gonna qualify out in, but I could run her in anything from a 200 to a two mile and she will benefit, that four by two team and she could benefit the four by eight team and everything. So, she’s a team player. She’ll do whatever I ask her to do and, um, and, and, and she’ll put forth her best effort in anything I ask her to do.”

Munoz is going to major in mechanical engineering. Her academic goal is to start as an engineering major and qualify for the mechanical engineering program and athletically break the five minute mark in the mile and two minutes in 10 seconds in the 800.

“So one of my main concerns with going running at collegiate level, especially at the Big-10 level, was that it was gonna be strictly competitive, strictly numbers and I would miss the family aspect that I’ve had here at Mt. Zion and going to Purdue, talking with a lot of the teammates and getting this vibe from the coaches that it’s so loving, it’s so caring, they’re such a family, they’re such a unit and that really excited me for college.”

Coach Fox said that her last word of advice to Munoz will be not to compare herself to others including her past teammates.

“I think that right now some of the expectations she has for herself and if you look at what some of her teammates are doing, it seems like it’s not unachievable, but it seems like it’s so difficult and it’ll be hard to do,” Coach Fox said. “One of the things I’ve told her is that when you’re running with that more elitist group and everything, they’ll bring out the best in you. You’ll bring out the best in them. And I said your freshman year it’s gonna be tough just like freshman year for any athlete is a little bit tougher because of how they’re trained at the collegiate level. She will make the adjustments fine and you’ll see her times continue to come down and she’s going to do great, but not to base her whole athletic career on her freshman year.”
Freshman year for every, um, athlete is tough.

Munoz is going to miss her track and field and cross country family the most from her time as a Brave.

“I’m always going to look back on all of these runs that we’ve had together where it is just a whole hour of non-stop talking, non-stop laughter,” Munoz said. “And we have all become so incredibly close. We are like this sisterhood, this family. And I know that sounds corny, but when you spend that many hours together and that many years together and you’re always working hard together and you see results together, you have a lifetime bond with your teammates and with your coaches as well.”

 

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