Salute to Seniors: Sebastian Ruiz of DePaul Catholic

Salute To Seniors is a medium for "senior farewells". We wanted to give everyone a chance to salute them one more time as well as invite those seniors to tell their stories from the past four years. Thank you to everyone who submitted and are waiting patiently in the queue, entries are now closed. 

Sebastian Ruiz

DePaul Catholic

        What was your most memorable race or moment?

            My most memorable race would have to be my last cross country race at Holmdel. Emerging from the roller coaster forests, to be greeted the final 150 meters by a roaring crowd, the energy is absolutely insane. I remember hauling my fatigued legs through the final straight with tears welling up in my eyes at the sheer thought that it would be my last XC race.

                Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

                    My biggest competition had to be all the Non Public schools. Being from DePaul Catholic, throughout my 4 years we've constantly flip flopped with how we're categorized in the state. NPA or NPB we rose to the occasion and have proven time and time again that we can compete where ever and against whoever.

                        What was your greatest accomplishment?

                            Being able to participate in the Indoor Meet of Champions was one of my greatest accomplishments. My greatest Senior Year accomplishment by far was being able to claim the Outdoor NPB north sectional title in the 800m. It proved to me that my hard work and dedication was all worth the while.

                                If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running or field career in high school?

                                    I would've utilized long runs way more my freshman and sophomore years than I actually did.

                                        What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

                                            During the beginning of my Junior year. Winter season, I wasn't able to run. I was recovering from an operation, but I was restlessly rolling around in my Hospital bed in a chilly mid December. Itching for the chance and opportunity to get back out on the track. I came back and fought to get to my best time, eventually far surpassing it.

                                                What will you miss the most?

                                                    I'll miss all the friends I've made, all the relay teams, all the early rise and shine for weekend meets, but by far all the individual races. I can never go back and change a thing about them. 

                                                        What advice would you give to younger athletes?

                                                            Coaches know best and only want to see you succeed. Practice doesn't make perfect; PERFECT practice makes Perfect. 

                                                                What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

                                                                    All of my coaches have had a large impact on my life. But Coach Brynn Merritt has had the greatest, she took me in as a freshman and has watched me blossom over four years. She's been there with me ever step of the way stride for stride. All the highs and lows she's taught me to give anything less than my best is to sacrifice an opportunity.

                                                                        What are your post-high school plans?

                                                                            I'm going to attend Montclair State University, and participate on their Track and Field programs. 

                                                                                Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

                                                                                    To my coaches, my teammates, friends, and family for believing in me to go the distance against the uphill struggles and the sleepless nights. To the state of New Jersey thank you for being witness to all my efforts, and being the catalyst to memories that will survive a life time.

                                                                                        Is there anything else you'd like to add?

                                                                                            DePaul Catholic has been a struggling program for a while and although they lose the Seniors of the class of 2019. Those that stayed will prove to the Conference, County, State, and Nation that DePaul Catholic is a force to be reckoned in the great sport of Track and Field