In the summer of 2017, Vicente Huerta started training with the CHS Varsity Boys Cross-Country Team as a rising junior after transferring from Bishop Amat High School. An incoming freshman at the time, I slept across from him at running camp in Wrightwood, and I remember marveling at his tolerance of the obnoxious freshmen swarming his bottom bunk and lounging on his sleeping bag with grimy, bare, post-run feet. In the following months of the season, Huerta emerged from his shell and claimed a pivotal role on the varsity cross-country team, helping to lead the team to a CIF title. One thing has remained clear — Huerta is always amiable and ready to give advice or help a friend. Although those who are not close to him may see him as non-verbose, shy, and slightly misanthropic, as one grows closer to him, his lightheartedness and readiness to converse become increasingly evident.
Running has been a part of Huerta’s life since the fifth grade; he started because he found, through his competitiveness and athleticism, that he was much more passionate about running than other sports and simply that “running is a beautiful thing,” as Huerta said. He has gleaned a great deal about the sport throughout his time as a runner, contributing to his capacity for giving advice. Over his many years of running, Huerta has also grown to appreciate it as a way to spend time in the outdoors.
His freshman year at Bishop Amat, Huerta competed in cross-country, but after being dissatisfied with the level of coaching he received, he did not run track in the spring. Instead, he ran from home, with his brother, Luis Huerta, two years his senior. During his sophomore year, he ran unattached in college meets and all-comers races. Although his experiences at Bishop Amat instilled in him discipline and highlighted his dedication to the sport, they were not ideal, so he transferred to Claremont to run with a team.
“It was nice to have a whole group that has the same goal as me, and I liked showing and telling the underclassmen, ‘this is what you’re going to have to do, it’s not that easy,’” Huerta said. “Just being an example for everybody else on the team was kind of nice.”
After graduation, Huerta will attend Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) and then transfer to a four-year college to continue his education and running career. As to why he chose Mt. SAC, Huerta explained that as he waited too long to begin his college search and his brother attended Mt. SAC, he thought of it as a good option. After learning that almost all of his brother’s misconceptions about community college were truly misconceptions, Huerta recognized Mt. SAC as an affordable option where he will get a great education and have the opportunity to run under a coach he respects alongside other eager athletes. Huerta would like to transfer to an out-of-state university, and finding the Colorado Rocky Mountains an appealing backdrop for his college life, he may even follow in his brother’s footsteps in transferring to Colorado State. Huerta aims to maintain good grades, become a massage therapist or go into sports science, and qualify for the Olympic Trials in 2020 or 2024, to fulfill a longtime goal. This trajectory would put him on a similar path as his brother again, except he would leapfrog his brother’s running achievements by putting on a singlet embossed with letters, “U-S-A.”
“I’ll miss the people at CHS… my teammates, my friends; it has definitely been a long ride for me, going to two different schools, and it has opened me up a lot,” Huerta said.
His teammates and friends are equally glad he transferred to CHS and will miss him and support him on his journey to Mt. SAC and beyond.