This year’s Athlete of the Year is senior, Erick Lopez.
Lopez has been a member of the track team since his freshman year, and participated in the 2018 NIAA state championship. In the 100m dash, He came in 6th place with a time of 11.33. He placed 8th in the 200m dash, with 22.92. Both were season bests. He was also a part of the 4x100 team that placed 7th, and the 4x200 team that placed 8th.
“Erick had a great track career here at Lowry,” said head coach Grant Beatty. “He is one of the best sprinters to come out of the schools track program.”
Lopez has been running the 100m and 200m since his sophomore year. He set his personal records in his junior year. His top time for the 100m dash is 11.11, and 22.68 in the 200m. Freshman year, Lopez ran the 400m, with a top time of 54.81. He also competed in the high jump his first two years of highschool, reaching 5’6 as a sophomore.
“His attitude in track is quiet and focused,” said Beatty. “He does a good job of taking care of his legs and making sure he is healthy come time to race.”
As much as Lopez has accomplishment, self-improvement hasn’t been his only focus. Lopez has proved to be just as strong of a team player, as he is an individual athlete.
“Erick is a good teammate, always positive and keeps a smile on his face,” said Beatty. “He jokes around with his teammates and keeps the mood light. Track can create a lot of individual pressure, so a guy like Erick helps keep the team stress free.”
His teammates are even Lopez’s favorite thing about track.
“My favorite part about track would have to be the team and the chemistry you build,” said Lopez. “When you are with them it's more like a family. I'm definitely going to miss my team. No doubt about it, my team was the best part.”
While many people dread running, Lopez sees it as rewarding.
“I guess I run because of the reward at the end,” said Lopez. “No other sport really gave me that feeling of being rewarded, and after each race feeling the sense of accomplishment.”
Lopez will be graduating this year, marking the end of his high school track career. He plans to further his education and go into a branch of the military.
“The Lowry track team appreciates Erick's hard work and he will be missed,” said Beatty.
Lopez is not only leaving behind his legacy, but advice for generations of athletes to come.
“The best advice I can give any athlete is to never doubt yourself and push yourself to be the best there is, no matter what people think,” said Lopez.