By Culen McElhannon
Fifty miles is a long way. Especially on foot. While running. Daniel Moreno, a freshman here at Texas A&M University-Texarkana can certainly attest to that fact.
Moreno is a member of the University’s Cross Country team, and this is his first year to ever do cross country. That is not suggesting that he does not have what it takes, though.
Moreno showed his cross country prowess on his youth minister’s 50th birthday. On that day, Moreno did something quite spectacular.
“I ran 50 miles in one day with my youth minister because it was his 50th birthday,” Moreno said. “I have always been addicted to running.”
Moreno’s cross country coach, Jeff Haynes, was there to witness this incredible feat, and was left in awe.
“He tagged along with me for the last 19 miles, and was shocked,” Moreno said.
Haynes told Moreno that he possessed a gift that could not be coached. He wanted Moreno to join the cross country team, with possible scholarships to come in the future.
“He told me that what I did took heart, and that he could take that heart and turn it into something special,” Moreno said.
With this being Moreno’s first time doing cross country, he is obviously very excited and optimistic about the years to come.
“This is a small university at the moment, which means there will be more people to come in the future,” Moreno said. “In a few years, I believe this University is going to explode in a variety of sports for the students to enjoy.”
While Moreno is very optimistic, he also has his doubts. There have been a number of meetings about the athletic program, and there have also been students who firmly disagreed with the athletic fee that is to soon go into effect. But Moreno’s worries hit him a little closer to home.
“I have just been hearing rumors that the Cross Country team is ineligible for scholarships next year, so that kind of has me questioning the program,” Moreno said.
To be ineligible for scholarships would be a major letdown for a newcomer to the program, especially since those scholarships were a major incentive for joining. Moreno is not letting this dampen his spirits too much, though, as he and other athletes are still happy with the program.
“Almost nobody has complained majorly about the athletic program,” Moreno said. “We joined our sport for a reason and with scholarships being on the line, it is a good enough reason to give it our all.”
There is still hope for the cross country team, and it can be assumed that Daniel Moreno will definitely give it his all.