When it came to choosing a high school sport, Kyle Sandoval admits he was undecided on his direction. But having a father as a high school track and hurdle coach helped him come to a decision.
“I didn’t really know which sport I was going to start in…but he’s the track coach, so why not run track?” says Sandoval on his father’s influence. “It just worked out really well.”
As a hurdle specialist for Servite High School’s track and field team, Sandoval takes his training regimen to the hills, where he develops the resistance he needs for the races. But he also puts in double duty with his practice schedule as a way to improve his technique.
“I think my biggest challenge would have to be my technique over the hurdle,” says Sandoval. “When I’m done practicing at Servite, I’ll go over to Colony (High School in Ontario) where [my dad] works, and I’ll work with him as well.”
In addition to running the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdle events, Sandoval is also a member of the Friars 4 x 400 meter relay. It’s the coming together as a team that Sandoval enjoys the most.
“Every time I step out on the track, I feel like I’m a part of something that’s a lot bigger than just myself,” says Sandoval of running for Servite. “It’s just the community, the brotherhood, the people, I feel like we’re all one instead of individuals.”
Servite’s hurdles coach, Dennis Flanagan, has high expectations for the 17-year-old senior, and feels Sandoval has the tools he needs to get there.
“Kyle combines his natural talent with a work ethic that takes full advantage of all that God has given him,” says Flanagan. “He is a gracious young man on and off the track and an overall gem to the entire program.”
Future plans for the Eastvale resident include running for a NCAA Division I college while studying medicine and business. The unique nature of being a runner has brought several life lessons to the forefront for Sandoval as he heads into his final year as a Friar.
“Being a runner has taught me to be very patient,” says Sandoval. “Things don’t always work out the first time. Winners don’t think negative; they think positive. It’s taught me how to be positive in everything that I do and just to continue to move forward.”
Inspired by his parents, coaches and the support of his teammates, Sandoval credits his faith for the opportunity to run for Servite.
“If I didn’t have my faith, I would never be in this position that I am today,” says Sandoval. “It’s taught me a lot about sacrificing certain things to be great in the end. And to really take a step back and appreciate things in my life that most people do not have.”