Hurdles a natural fit for Brentwood multi-sport standout Cesia Garcia

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Sunday, May 16, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Cesia Garcia has hurdled her way to a rewarding career in the Brentwood track and field program.

She has been competing in track since the seventh grade and is a top hurdler for the Spartans.

“In middle school, we encourage the kids to try every event,” Brentwood coach Mike Cramer said. “Cesia was one of the few middle school athletes brave enough to try hurdles. We knew once that fear was conquered, she was athletic enough to learn the technique.

“She has worked very hard over the past four years and she is so close to finishing in the top 16 (in Class AA) in both the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles. Hopefully, we can get her in the top 16.”

Garcia, who has a 3.8 GPA, actually is a multi-sport athlete at Brentwood. Along with running in the hurdles, she has had a lengthy soccer career and participated in volleyball for two years.

“My strongest events in track have always been hurdles,” Garcia said. “I started hurdles in seventh grade because at Brentwood you try every event to see what fits best. I was put in hurdles because it came naturally to me.

“The 100 hurdles were always my strong suit but when I tried 300 hurdles my sophomore year, towards the end of my season, I did surprisingly well. I did not have a (track) season my junior year unfortunately, but this year I have been working hard and have made it to WPIALs in both the 100 and 300 hurdles. The 300 hurdles has recently been my strongest event.”

Cramer has enjoyed watching Garcia’s progression and improvement from year to year in the hurdles.

“I think Cesia’s biggest attribute is her determination,” Cramer said. “She runs confidently and she runs angry. You can just see the effort and drive in her face as she runs. It’s actually pretty awesome to see this polite, funny young athlete turn into a fierce, determined athlete when the gun goes off.

“I have really enjoyed seeing her progress over the years with the help of hurdles coach Dr. Ian Shortt. Dr. Shortt has a knack for connecting with students and athletes and they respond to his approach. He is pretty laid back and witty and shows his athletes respect, and I think the kids appreciate it.”

Garcia recently set a personal record by 1.3 seconds. She was one of the leading female hurdlers in Class AA at the 47th annual Baldwin Invitational.

“I have been breaking my 300 hurdle times since the beginning of the season,” Garcia said. “I am very happy and am proceeding to continue pushing to get two (more) seconds off my time.

“The season has been hard with covid, but I like my team a lot, and my coaches have been very helpful throughout every single one of my seasons. They’ve seen me hit a hurdle and come back up from it. I was always taught to never give up.”

Garcia’s athletic career soon will come to an end. She plans to study criminal justice at Michigan State in the fall.

“I know that her hard work, dedication and the self-reliance she has learned from track will help her be successful no matter what she does in life,” Cramer said

Michigan State is a public land-grant research university located in East Lansing, Mich. MSU’s sprawling campus is perched on the banks of the Red Cedar River.

“I visited Michigan State three months ago and instantly fell in love,” Garcia said. “I have family in Michigan that aren’t too far from MSU which is also great.

“I love the atmosphere there and I already got to know lots of great people from there.”

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