Senior Spotlight: The Relentless Running Ronnie

Sahuaro Track Star Ronald Sabatino


Nathalia Valdez, Social Media & Communications

Distance running isn’t for anybody, it takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication. Many people join the track team because their friends make them, but soon realize it’s the sport for them. Ronald Sabatino (Ronnie), currently a senior at Sahuaro High School, started track nearly four years ago and in such little time has made such great progress. “I regret not doing it in middle school because I think I would be better now if I had started earlier,” he admits.

Ronnie attended State last year, and with a 1:58 time for his 800, placed 9th. That’s something to be very proud of, but for Ronnie it’s only motivation to do even better. “I’m going to kick even more a** this year!” he says hopefully. Ever since freshman year Ronnie has looked up to many athletes that were better than him, but now he’s become who he looked up to, and hopes newcomers look to him as an example athlete. For beginner athletes Ronnie’s best piece of advice is “there are no short cuts, its all just hard work and sticking with it. It is very very rare for someone to be good their starting year, but if you stick with it and put in the hard work you can make something great of yourself.”

Ronnie’s diet consists of lots of greens, LOTS of protein, a good amounts of carbs, lots of healthy fats (like olive oil), and LOTS and LOTS of water. He starts training 24 weeks before State, and between the two sports he participates in (cross country and track) he trains 48 weeks total. “Out of 52 weeks a year, that only gives me 2 weeks of break, between each season.” he says.

Ronnie loves track, he has a great passion towards it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not difficult or there isn’t a time where he feels the need for a break; however, he doesn’t give up. According to Ronnie this is one of the hardest parts: “There are many difficulties in track, keeping your work ethic throughout the long season, working hard even though you don’t want to, keep on going even though you’re beyond the point of exhaustion, pushing through the excruciating pain at the end of each race” but most importantly Ronnie believes that you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t do as well as you thought you would, and the key to success is to keep trying, keep training, and never be intimidated by the opponent.