Branden Vasquez: A Star in the Making


Photo Donated By Brandon Vasquez

Lucas Giron, Social Media Editor

 Branden Vazquez, a veteran on the track and field team for Pines Charter, has fallen in love with the sport, as so many other athletes have done. His love and passion for track and field started when he was in 8th grade. Ready for a new challenge, he decided to join after his middle school cut the basketball team and replaced it with track and field. 

   He started off as a sprinter, participating in the 110 meter hurdles; however, as time went on, the mile was what attracted him, and is what he ended up trying to perfect. Day in and day out, Branden would constantly be trying to perfect his craft. With 45-mile weeks and 2 hour practices  every school day becoming the norm for him, Branden had a clear path in what he wanted to do: to get better as a middle distance runner. As stated by him, “Track and field is a difficult sport. You are constantly pushing yourself to your physical and mental limits”. 

   Branden was on the right track in trying to be the best possible track athlete he could be, with his personal record for a mile being a mere five minutes and five seconds. Nonetheless, the physical demands of being a track and field athlete came upon him: Branden encountered an injury. With working so hard to try and become the best mile runner he could be, Branden had to take a break in order to recuperate. This was a major setback and challenge for him. When asked about it, Branden disclosed “After working so hard to achieve such a high level of fitness and then losing it because I had to take some time to rest, it truly shattered me. It hurt my soul watching my teammates compete, run, and achieve their own personal records while all I could do was watch”. 

   Even though this injury took a heavy toll on him, Branden knew he had to persevere through it. He spent weeks of training to try and recover his body, with exercises in the pool and gym workouts too. The process of trying to get back on the track taught Branden to have patience and have discipline over oneself: he was at a low, but he knew he would be able to bounce back. As conveyed by Branden, “ It gets to a point where you must say ‘I know I’m good, this is a setback, but I’m going to bounce back stronger than I have ever been.” 

   This past week was Branden’s first week back, and even though it didn’t go as planned, he loved being back to participate in the sport he loves. As he’s trying to reach a new level of fitness, Branden has one major goal in mind for the future: to run a four minute and fifteen second mile and get a scholarship to the University of Florida.