Rivera junior distance runner Julian Tavares has had a couple of solid performances in two of the biggest track & field meets of the season.
After winning the 800-meter run and helping the Rivera 1,600 relay team to a third-place finish at the District 32-6A meet, he duplicated those performances at the 31/32-6A area meet.
He won the 800 with a time of 1 minute, 58.03 seconds and was the final leg of the 1,600 relay that finished third with a time of 3:30.90.
The Rivera athlete now looks toward the Region IV-6A meet next weekend in San Antonio, where he hopes to punch his ticket to the state meet.
Q: When and why did you decide you wanted to take up track & field?
Tavares: Ever since the age of 4, I have always been drawn to running.
Q: I see you compete in sprints. What would you say is your favorite event and why?
Tavares: I would have to say the 800, because it’s a race that takes a lot of will and heart. It’s a quick but long race, which is the reason why it’s one of my favorites.
Q: What’s the hardest part about being a track & field athlete, and how do you feel you approach whatever it is?
Tavares: Conditioning and maintaining a diet.
Q: What’s the favorite memory of your track career?
Tavares: My favorite memory is coming to varsity my freshman year. I felt really proud of myself that I made it. Well, stayed because I was an alternate, but I guess coach really liked my performance in the open 400-meter at the San Benito meet as a freshman hitting 52 seconds. So he put me in it and ever since, little by little, I did the other events.
Q: Do you play any other sports? If so, what are they, and does being in track help you when it comes to competing in them?
Tavares: I do cross country, and it helps my condition for the 400 and 800 meters.
Q: On meet days, what does your typical routine look like? Meals, pregame music, superstitions?
Tavares: Well, I pray every night and before a meet. I still pray, but about the meet. Before a meet, I love eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Q: Who would you say is one of the toughest athletes you’ve had to compete against and in what event?
Tavares: When I used to run the 400-meter relay and I had to run against Harlingen’s Jose Garcia last year.
Q: What meet do you look forward to the most and why?
Tavares: Regionals, because I will prove to myself that I have worked hard to be there.
Q: Tell the readers something they may not know about you.
Tavares: I have been running the Brownsville Running Marathon since I was 4, inspired by my Coach Solis at Del Castillo Elementary. From there, my amazing mother continued my inspiration for running.
Q: What’s your favorite movie or show and why?
Tavares: I will say The Fate of the Furious because, well, the movie series is really good and because I asked out an amazing girl that I am with today.
Q: What’s your favorite food and why?
Tavares: My favorite food would be hot wings, man. They’re just delicious when I take each bite.
Q: If you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Tavares: Kevin Hart, because he’s hilarious.