Senior Esmeralda Bonilla hasn’t been at Snohomish for a very long time, but she’s enjoyed it there. The Los Angeles-transplant, who moved to the Northwest before last season, joined the cross country team and made friends quickly in her new home.
Snohomish cross country coach David LeWarne wishes he could have had even more time with Bonilla, who finished 17th at last week’s Wesco 4A Championship meet to help the Panthers’ girls team win the team title.
“Consistency and focus are the big things,” LeWarne said. “She is always positive. And she just busts her tail with academics.”
Herald Writer David Krueger talked to Bonilla about why she enjoys running, moving to Snohomish and the next sport she’s going to try during her senior year.
Q: How’s the cross country season going?
A: It’s going really well. We’re trying really hard. We’ve just got to keep running hard and try our best to improve our times. And there’s a lot of really good schools out there, so we’ve just got to keep training and keep it up.
Q: Be honest, do you really enjoy running?
A: I do. I actually love it. I’ve been doing it for three years. I just like it. That’s my sport. I was doing volleyball before and I quit because I like running so much. I’ve been training a lot. It just takes a lot of practice.
Q: What is it about running that you like so much?
A: I don’t know. It keeps me busy. Keeps me away from trouble. I think it helps me a lot in school, because since I like running a lot it helps me keep my grades up.
Q: You guys had the Wesco (4A) championship last weekend, how big was that for you guys?
A: It was really good. We got first place. I just hope we keep doing good.
Q: How are you guys feeling going into districts and the rest of the postseason?
A: We train a lot. I’m pretty sure we’re going to do fine. We’ll do good.
Q: How do you like Snohomish? Is this a good school to go to?
A: Yes! I love it. I moved last year from California and yeah, everyone here is really nice. I’ve met a lot of really good people and they’ve helped me a lot.
Q: Was it hard at all being the “new girl?”
A: It was hard, actually. I didn’t know anyone and classes were different. I had to meet new teachers, I had a new home, new friends. Everything was new. But what helped me a lot was doing cross country because I came to the first practice so my first day of school I already knew people so I was able to sit with them and hang out.
Q: Where in California did you live?
A: Los Angeles. San Fernando Valley.
Q: Is that good Los Angeles or scary Los Angeles?
A: Scary. (Laughs.)
Q: What’s the best part about being a Panther?
A: Everything’s good. I just love it. I love being a Panther and I’m proud of being a Panther.
Q: What year are you at Snohomish?
A: A senior. It’s my last year here.
Q: Are you excited for life after high school?
A: I am, but at the same time I’m not because I know things will be different and school will be harder. I know I’ll miss Snohomish because I’m planning on going back home to California. Things will definitely change.
Q: Do you know what you want to do in California?
A: I want to go to community college and I want to study nursing. I want to get my Associate’s Degree there and then transfer to a four-year (university).
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Besides studying?
Q: (Laughs.) Yeah. And running.
A: I don’t know. I just hang out with my family a lot. I like to spend time with them and watch movies and just have fun. I hang out with friends too.
Q: Are there any other sports you like to play or watch?
A: Cross country’s my thing. I’m planning on doing wrestling this year, so we’ll see how that goes.
Q: Have you ever wrestled before?
A: Just for fun. I didn’t do it for a long time. I was doing it before I moved to Seattle with my best friend because she wrestles. But I’ve never actually done it (for sport). It was just for fun. So, I’m going to try it. It’s my senior year so I want to try something new.