I had hoped to talk with Hermiston cross country runner Alejandro Cisneros, who placed third at state, for our Athlete of the Week feature last week, but things didn't pan out. I had to head to Federal Way for the WIAA Girls State Swimming and Diving Championships, and his coach, Jake Puzey, called while I was out of town. But we all connected tonight, and I was able to get Cisneros' answers to our pressing questions.
Favorite food: Pasta
Favorite nonsport activity: Listening to music
Favorite athlete: Leo Manzano
Most like to meet (living or dead): My favorite artist, Eminem
Sports highlight: Freshman year, when my team and I won state
Favorite class: Accounting
Prerace ritual: I'm usually the first person to get to the starting line from my team. I put on my shoes and pray to Jesus and pray to the Lord that all goes well.
Must-have on the road: MP3 player and food
Favorite movie: Get Rich or Die Tryin
Best song on your iPod: Nows My Time by D.J.I.G.
Career plans: Accountant or stockbroker
Favorite course: Sunfair Invitational course in Yakima
Best advice from current coach: When I feel like I'm at a disadvantage, (Puzey) tells me I'm not the only one who's going through one during a race.
With $100 in a mall, where do you go?: Foot Locker
Pairs of track spikes he owns: Four
Dream vacation: Las Vegas
Favorite place: Los Angeles
Million dollars: Help my family with a better living
What he would ask an Athlete of the Week: What makes you like the sport that youre doing?
What he likes about cross country: There are a lot of factors that go into it -- the way you train and what you do during the race affects the outcome. Also, the determination of an athlete to race hard and just have a good race.
Favorite animal: Lion
What did you have for dinner last night? Eight-ounce steak
Who he looks up to: My cross country coach
Thanksgiving plans: Traditional dinner with family and hanging out with some friends
Cisneros will run at this weekend's Border Clash in Beaverton, where he hopes to be one of the top four for Oregon and one of the top 10 overall.
"I went last year, and I did OK," he said. "Last year around that time, I was pretty burnt out, but I feel strong and healthy right now."