Spotlight Athlete: Diego Lavieri-Sosa - Ocala Vanguard High School

Ocala Vanguard senior Diego Lavieri-Sosa pulled off a post season trifecta winning conference, districts, and regionals before finishing 14th at the 3A Cross Country Finals. We learn more about Lavieri-Sosa in our Spotlight Athlete feature.

How long have you been running and how did you get started? 

I have been running cross country since the 6th grade. What got me started was the PE mile in elementary school. After being the fastest for a couple years I thought I'd try cross country in middle school and I have loved it ever sense.

Do you remember your first real race?

My first race was an eye opener for both myself and my coach, as I was the smallest kid on the team but ended being our number three. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing while I was racing, going out way too hard the first mile, then dying the rest of the way and holding on for dear life. I ended up running 24 minutes for my first ever 5k.

How was your summer training?

Summer training has been great. Our team had the chance to go to the App State XC camp thanks to our wonderful booster club. Over the summer our guys team has turned into the closest group I've ever been a part of. As far as miles go we have built up to about 60 miles a week.

What was your 2016 XC season like?

Last season was a great year filled with lots of personal success. Our team was not as strong as previous years but we found a way to make it back to Tallahassee. Most importantly for the sanity of Coach T we kept the county winning streak going, it's now 18 years and counting. 

What's a typical training week like?

A typical week of summer training is Monday/tempo, Wednesday/fartleks, Friday/long run with recovery runs every other day of the week.

What is your favorite workout? 

My favorite workout has to be tempos with a hard mile at the end. This is my favorite mainly because I get to stay aerobic and then have fun the last mile and see how much I can negative split. 

 Which meets will you be running in this year?

The bigger invites we will be racing in this year are: Spikes & Spurs, Florida Horse Park, and the Wingfoot XC Classic in Georgia.

Do you have a favorite course? What do you think is the toughest course in the state? 

My favorite course is the Spikes & Spurs course because of it being flat with no sharp turns or narrow parts in the race. The toughest course in the state in my opinion is easily the Alachua course that was used for the Inaugural Half-Mile Timing Invite.

Out of all your running accomplishments so far, which stands out the most?

Personally my favorite accomplishment is winning regionals last XC season. On the team aspect the moment that I hold as being the most outstanding would be my freshman year when we went 1-6 at County. 

What are your goals for the upcoming cross country season?

We want to be competitive in November.

What do you love most about running?

When you're running all the chaos around you isn't important and you can just relax. 

The Low Down

Do you have a favorite quote?

"The will to win means nothing if you haven't the will to prepare."

Do you have any pre-race rituals or routines?

The night before every race I sleep in the shorts I will be racing in the next day. Then as I'm warming up to race I always listen to my Get That Weight Up playlist on Spotify. For anyone that wants a great workout or pump up playlist I recommend checking it out.

What is your favorite food?


What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?

Hacksaw Ridge, it was great, 10/10 recommend.

What brand of shoes do you train/race in?

Nike Pegasus 32's for training and Nike Victory 2's for racing.

What professional athlete would you like to meet the most?

I would like to meet Matthew Centrowitz.

What are some things most people don't know about you? 

I love documentaries. I can juggle. I competed in the ITF Taekwon-Do PanAmerican Games when I was 9.

Lastly, if you were stranded on an island with three things what would they be? 

A sack of potatoes, an Eno, and a gallon of water.