Salute to Seniors: Irmo's Jovan Figuero

Name: Jovan Figueroa
High school: Irmo
Event PRs: 5K: 16:29, 2 Mile: 10:45, 1600: 4:54, 800: 2:13
Hobbies: Running, traveling, basketball, video games

What was your most memorable race/competition?                                                                      
Skyhawk Invitational from this past XC season. It was the first meet and going in I didn't really know what to expect but I just decided to race and not focus on time. Ended up with a 1 minute PR from my junior year 5K time and had a lot of fun running on that course. Something just clicked mentally for me that day and it has led to a lot of success in races following. 

Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out most?  
Being selected to the Mike Moore Shrine Bowl Run Team.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?                                                                     It definitely would be starting earlier in maybe middle school and/or freshman year. 

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?  
An ankle injury that happened late into last XC season and learning how to run in the 4x400 in track this year. 

What will you miss the most?  
My teammates, the runs with them, and XC camp.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?                                                                  
Listen to your coaches, train smarter not harder, avoid comparisons and focus on yourself, and most importantly enjoy the process because if you don't enjoy it, why even do it?  

How have your coaches influenced your performances and life goals?                        
Two things all of my coaches have taught me is the importance of preparation and your mindset about something. Being prepared allows you to limit obstacles that are in the way of success and having a good, strong mindset will allow you to clear those obstacles when they do come up. 

What kind of impact did your family have on your time as a high school student-athlete?  
My family has always taught me the importance of hard work and discipline, they're living proof that it leads to positive outcomes. They've been there every step of the way, always supporting me no matter what and for that I don't think words are enough to express how grateful I am. 

What are your college or post-high school plans?
 I will continue running XC/track at Jacksonville University and will be majoring in their exercise science/kinesiology program.

What do you hope to achieve after high school?      
I hope to make an impact with the XC team at Jacksonville and become the best runner that I can be. I hope to eventually have a job that I can be successful and happy with and will allow my family to have complete financial freedom. 

Do you see yourself coaching in the future?  
I'm not sure. It's not on my radar at the moment but you never know. 

Shout out to Coach Jeremy Lewis, Coach Hall, Coach Cutrona, Coach Jack Lewis, Coach Rho, and Coach Shay thank you for always believing in me and pushing me to where I am now and for all you've done for the program at Irmo. Shout to my teammates, Jonah Wendland, James Holliday, Tristan Burge, David Williams, Jarrod Neal and Jake Debenport. Thank you for all the time we spent together and the memories created. Shout out to my brother Rickson, you've been there every single day working hard (and trying to beat me in a race any chance you got). Shout out to my family, all of you are the reason any of this is even possible. 

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why?  
I would find a way to have everyone listen and be respectful of each other, understand each other, and to work together to sort out any problems we will inevitably face as human beings.