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Friday, September 29, 2023


FIVE MINUTES OF FAME: Freshman finds time off from running to run more

Ryan Hartwig: What’s it like running cross-country for UH?

Santaolalla: Well, it’s a really good experience, and I ran in high school, so I’m pretty new at it. I’m keeping up with the guys and it’s just the greatest experience of my life. I get to travel and be a part of the team.

Hartwig: How long have you been running cross-country, and do you have a good mentor?

Santaolalla: I started out five months ago, and Gary Derks, the cross-country coach at my high school, is the one who recruited me, and he coached me throughout the summer.

Hartwig: Which high school did you attend?

Santaolalla: Cinco Ranch High School out in Katy.

Hartwig: Has UH always had a great reputation in cross-country?

Santaolalla: They have a good reputation in track, but not so much in cross-country. We’re really trying to change that.

Hartwig: Does your athletic schedule ever interfere with your class schedule?

Santaolalla: No. It’s really well balanced, so I always have time to work my academics, my practice and then I have time on my own.

Hartwig: Since you’re an athlete here at UH, do you have to take courses online or on the weekends?

Santaolalla: Yes. I’m taking math online, and that really helps me because it’s one-on-one with a tutor and not in a big class

Hartwig: Does the team practice more in the fall or in the spring?

Santaolalla: Definitely in the fall, because our cross-country season is in the fall, and then we go right away into track, so we don’t really stop with cross-country.

Hartwig: So after you graduate, do you plan to keep performing in cross-country?

Santaolalla: I plan on running in the New York City Marathon soon, and I also want to do the Ironman Triathlon, so I’m going to keep training out there.

Hartwig: So when you have time off from sports, school and work, what do you do for recreation?

Santaolalla: I usually go running on my free time. When I’m just relaxing at home I play guitar, watch TV and hang out with friends.

Hartwig: I know you’re a freshman and you’re just beginning your athletic career at UH, but has there been a highlight or favorite memory so far?

Santaolalla: Just being a part of a team.

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