By Noe Ortega
Passion and dedication is what drives former East Los Angeles College student Laura Aceves who plans on representing Mexico by competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
“I feel confident, it’s a lot of work and I know there are a lot of athletes out there trying their best to make it, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge,” Aceves said. “I believe that I can do it. I have the talent and skills to do it and it’s going to be hard work everyday.”
Aceves came to the United States from Mexico when she was 18 years old with no past experience of being a runner or any involvement with another sport.
Aceves says that running was just a hobby that she developed for staying in shape but then turned into a dream that she one day hopes to fulfill.
To make it to the Olympics, Aceves first has to hit a time of 2:38 in the LA Marathon so that she can qualify for the Olympic trials.
To qualify for the Olympics, she must then rank top three in the Olympic Trials.
Aceves trains seven days a week with basic training like long distance running, aerobics and, about two times a week, she includes speed workouts.
In December she will focus on doing speed workouts. Aceves attended ELAC from 2013-2015.
In her two years as a Husky, she went to the California Community College Cross Country Championship finals and was voted Women’s South Coast Conference Athlete of the Year for two years.
“I really enjoyed my teammates, this school and my coaches,” Aceves said. They were very supportive and that’s something that I really like.”
She also received two All-American recognitions for placing first in 2013 and for placing third in 2014 at the California Community College Cross Country Championship.
At the SCC, before the conference was split into two, Aceves outran every other SCC competitor.
Aceves praised her former coach Louis Ramirez who recruited her from Baldwin Park Adult School in 2013.
“He’s an amazing person, an amazing coach and he believed in me from the first day that I met him,” Aceves said. “He always believed that I could do more and that I was capable of winning the state championship and telling me that you can be the best.”
After Aceves’ time in ELAC, she transferred to California State University, San Bernardino on an athletic scholarship and graduated this year with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology.
When Aceves lived in Mexico, she use to attend school and work as a server at the age of 15 because she wanted to be more independent.
Aceves was 18 when her parents decided to move to the U.S. where she found a job as a server.
Six months later, she signed up for English as a Second Language class at Mount San Antonio Community College.