More than an athlete: Michael Galvan

Kaiwen Wang, Lead Editor

The Oxford dictionary defines greatness as “the quality of being great, eminent and distinguished.” To Central Catholic’s Track & Field student-athletes, greatness is defined as Michael Galvan. As a runner, as a teammate, as a leader, and as a friend, he is of the quality of being great, eminent, and distinguished.

Starting off his athletic career originally as a basketball player, Galvan did not find himself on the black and white lanes until the spring track season of his sophomore year (2017). “My biggest regret is that I didn’t start running sooner,” the all-state runner jokes as he traces back to when everything began, “but as soon as I started running, it really opened up a lot of opportunities outside the classroom.”

Throwback to when the seeds of greatness were first sowed under the rich soil of Bob Benson ‘66 Stadium. With the majority of the team consisting of underclassmen, the 2017 Track & Field team is not one of the best, but it did turn out to be the one with the most potential. Among the future rising stars was Galvan, whom no one would’ve expected to simply take off and break 5 minutes/mile in his first year of running, ever. “I do believe in natural talents”, Galvan admits, “but the process of working hard is what makes me the runner I am now.”

Work speaks for itself. Year 2 was when the fruits of Galvan’s dedication began to ripen. Finishing 18th at TAPPS Cross Country State championship with a time of 18’02”, Galvan immediately felt the chips on his shoulder as time flies to the spring of 2018 when the rising star returned to the track. The 2nd year is oftentimes a “wall” for the runners as they plateau in their running, and face increased difficulty in improving their skill. However, it was not the case for Galvan who also had elite runner Nathaniel Zapata pacing the team on their way to excellence.

Co-leading the pack in the 2018 season, the powerful Zapata-Galvan duo got not only the best of each other, but also a handful of medals along the way. “We have different roles on the team, and we have our strengths and weaknesses, but I wouldn’t be the great runner that I am if I wasn’t pushed by him,” commented Galvan. As the most improved athlete of the 2018 track season, Galvan would eventually cross the 800m finish line at time 1’59” in Midway Stadium in Waco, earning him 4th place at TAPPS state championship.

As Galvan stepped into the second half of his high school life, the all-state runner’s greatness extended outside the track. He is a diligent student, a JROTC cadet, and an executive of the student council; moreover, he is a part of the brotherhood. “I want to be more than a captain of the team,” said Galvan, “I want to be a nice guy and an influential brother to the boys.” As Senior runner Jeremy Perez describes, Galvan has served as an example of greatness because he “strives to be better everyday.” “He listens to coach no matter how hard the workout is, and he knows it is going to pay off,” Perez added.

Not mentioning his commitment in this sport, Galvan’s possession of a “winner mentality”, as complimented by Junior Diego Valle, is also an important ingredient on his recipe to success. Galvan, who had to counter the difficulty of starting from scratch in this pursuit, is aware of the pain from climbing up the ladder, a fight that is both external and internal. When asked about his inner struggles during a race, Galvan said he just “tells [himself] to focus on the race itself.” “I usually start from the back and work my way up, and I will let no one pass me along the way,” commented Galvan.

This spring is a special one for not only Galvan but also other runners of the class of 2019, as they will look forward to shine in their “one last dance” underneath the Thursday night lights. Nonetheless, the personal quality of this multi-time MVP runner will continue on shining in Central Catholic’s book of legacy. Setting the example of greatness both on and off the field, Galvan is defined as more than an athlete; he is greatness.

Already earning a silver in 800m in his first meet back from concussion, Galvan for sure will make this year a special one with more and more accomplishments to come. As he prepares for the remainder of the season, Galvan will continue to keep a steady pace on his way to demonstrate greatness.