Torres: Ahead of the competition


Sierra Gray | The Chart

Junior Cynthia Torres striding ahead of the competition at the Southern Stampede at the Tom Rutledge Cross Country Course on Sept. 19, 2015. Torres finished 25th with a time of 18:26.35. Torres comes to Southern from Golden West College, a junior college in Huntington Beach, California. Torres has competed in all four races for the Lions this season with her highest finish coming in the Jackling Jocks invite as she finished 4th with a time of 18:22.05.

Sierra Gray, Staff Writer

Missouri humidity did not provide a pleasant welcome for cross-country runner Cynthia Torres.

“I went out for a run my first day here and I thought I wasn’t going to make it,” said Torres, laughing as she thought back to that run.

Torres, a junior student-athlete at Missouri Southern, was born outside of the U.S. but considers herself to be from Huntington Beach, Calif. Torres transferred to Southern this year from Golden West College, a junior college in Huntington Beach.

Torres is petite with long dark hair, but do not underestimate her based on her small stature. She is smart and strong. Torres shows her intelligence in her classes as she double majors in English and Spanish. She also proves to be a hard worker during practices and competitions as a member of the women’s cross country and track and field teams.

Torres competed in the MSSU Southern Stampede on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, on the Tom Rutledge Cross Country course. She placed 25th in a time of 18:26 for the 5k course.

Like many college students moving away from home, Torres has experienced several challenges.

She said, “I was really excited, so I never really thought about the difficulties of it until I got here. Then I realized, ‘Man, my mom isn’t here,’ and I was at Walmart and I didn’t know what to buy for my dorm.”

Torres says she misses her family. The hardest part is not being able to be there to watch her nieces and nephews grow up.

Torres also faces frustrating obstacles that may not even cross several college students’ minds. Torres was not born in the United States, so she faces the complications that come along with the law for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

In California, she was able to get the Board of Governor fee waiver and receive scholarship money. At Southern, Torres cannot receive scholarship money or financial aid because of a Missouri state law. Torres is unhappy about the complications this causes and sees it as a sign that racism is still prevalent.

Despite the difficulties she faces, Torres is known to be an achiever by her friends and teammates.

Danny Hernandez, long-time friend of Torres, said, “Cynthia is very determined and self-motivated. I’ve known her since high school and seen her work harder than anyone I know on the track. I’ve never heard her brag about her accomplishments. Very humble in her successes.”

Christian Provence, current teammate, said, “Cynthia is pretty straightforward, but really kindhearted and sweet. She’s also super tough and resilient.”