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De La Torre driven to run

Track and Field: La Salle High junior is this year's All-Area Boys' Track Athlete of the Year after banner 2012 season that included winning two CIF Southern Section championships.

July 20, 2012|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
(Tim Berger Staff…)

PASADENA — Every race has a finishing point.

Yet, the same may not necessarily apply to every runner.

Take La Salle High junior Daniel De La Torre, for instance.

This year's All-Area Boys' Track and Field Athlete of the Year, as voted by the sports writers and editors of the Pasadena Sun, La Cañada Valley Sun, Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader, concluded a highly successful 2012 campaign in early June.

This season, De La Torre was the lone area athlete to advance to the CIF State Meet in two events, was one of five area participants to win a CIF Southern Section Division championship, and claimed a handful of nonleague invitational titles.

Success on such a level would usually call for some relaxation.

In De La Torre's case, the rest comes somewhat reluctantly as the 17-year-old was put on a one-month running sabbatical by his coach, La Salle's Fred Riley, in an attempt to heal.

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"During this month where I can't run, I have to do other forms of physical activity to take in place of running. Without my daily routine of running, it's hard to function normally throughout the day," De La Torre said. "It's harder to sleep. There are some nights where I've been up until 6 a.m. because it's hard to sleep.

"I go back to my old swimming days. I swim in the gym and get in lots of weight-lifting to take place of that running, but it's not the same."

De La Torre's motivation comes from two sources, the first being a need to challenge himself.

"I see running as one of the greatest ways to push your body and mind to its greatest limit," De La Torre said. "If I quit running today, who's to say I don't quit school the next day or my job later down the line. The discipline I have today for running, I'll have tomorrow for life."

Yet, there's another burning desire that stems from a deeper source.

"It's hard to say I had a good year. I didn't have a good CIF State Final and I didn't do well at Masters," De La Torre said. "I go back to cross-country when I was third (in the CIF State Division IV meet) and I know I could have done better. I'm out to win and push myself."

De La Torre's 2012 campaign concluded with him finishing ninth at the CIF State meet in Clovis in the 1,600-meter run in a time of 4 minutes, 16.38 seconds followed by a fourth-place effort of 9:06.60 in the 3,200.

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