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A Talk With Two-Time 3A Cross Country State Champion Javier Vento

Javier Vento broke the 1600 M Belen school record by running a 4:11.20 at the Reggie Johnson Memorial Classic.

Out of Belen Jesuit High School, senior Javier Vento headlines the Cross Country group that has featured consistent success in all of the Sunshine State.

Even with COVID-19 lingering through his final runs with the Wolverines, Vento has spent no time notching new records into the history books. In fact, the University of Florida commit broke Belen Jesuit’s 1600m school record with a 4:11 time in late February. The following meet, he led everybody at the Sam Burley Hall of Fame Invitational with a solo 9:15 3200m personal record.

Regardless of those achievements, the job was far from over. Vento and his crew captured its fourth consecutive championship and twelfth state title Saturday, solidifying themselves as the greatest cross country program in the state.

As usual, Vento finished first with a time of 15:22:2, with teammate Aiden Villasuso behind him with a 15:41.6.

305 Sports’ Robert Diaz spoke to Vento prior to Saturday’s meet on his goals and expectations, along with his recent commitment to the Gators.

Q: How would you say this season is going so far?

Vento: The season’s going really well. I’m happy where my team is at and how we’ve progressed throughout the season.

Q: What are your thoughts going into the state championship Saturday?

Vento: I am extremely excited to compete for another team and individual state title. At this point, it’s all about believing in the training I’ve been putting in since June and leaving it all out there on the course.

Q: That’s great. You touched on your training. How has your training and preparation for this xc season been impacted by COVID?

Vento: COVID cut my track season short and it greatly impacted the way we trained. I had to run on my own for about two months. It was tough, to say the least, being used to always having my team around. During that time I believed that the work put in then would show now.

Q: I know many schools were interested in you, what factored into your decision to commit to the University of Florida?

Vento: Yes and I am thankful to have had great universities to choose from. Several factors were considered into the decision, but something that really stood out to me was that “Gator Family” the team refers to themselves as. I want to be a part of a tight-knit group like the University of Florida has.

Q: What are your goals for the upcoming track season?

Vento: For my last track season, I have big goals set in mind. I’d like to win three state titles: 1600m, 3200m, 4x800m relay. Hopefully, that can even get us to a Team title. I would like to run under 4:05 in the 1600m and crack the 9-minute barrier in the 3200m.

Q: What are your goals academically for college?

Vento: I want to set myself up for medical school. I’m looking to be heavily involved in internships and shadowing opportunities to build a strong resume.

Q: What are your goals athletically for college?

Vento: In college, I want to be in a position where I can help my team compete for conference championships.

Robert is a high school sports reporter who attends Christopher Columbus High School. He plans to major in journalism in college.

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