Running is a big part of Manny Guzman’s daily routine.
As a distance runner for Vintage High School, he gets his training runs in each day, and sometimes twice a day. He is disciplined and committed about staying on top of his game and keeping his weekly mileage totals where he wants it to be.
“It’s something I look forward to every day,” said Guzman, who runs on the cross country and track and field teams for Vintage. “Running gets your mind off things. I just enjoy doing it. It makes me feel good.
“After every run, I feel I have this sense of confidence. I’m really happy after every run.”
Guzman, a California Interscholastic Federation state meet qualifier in cross country as both a junior and senior, will continue as a distance runner when he starts college at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in the fall.
Guzman, 18, signed a National Letter of Intent on Thursday in the school’s Little Theater. He will receive an academic scholarship and will run on cross country and track teams for Cal Poly.
He was joined by his parents, Salvador and Elizabeth Guzman, along with students and school staff, including Vintage Athletic Director Cam Neal.
“To know that running gets to play a role in his going to the school and being a part of the school, it usually just makes your collegiate experience that much more rewarding and that much more powerful,” said Brian Pruyn, Vintage’s head coach for cross country and track.
Guzman is one of the top distance runners in Vintage school history.
He was twice named All-Monticello Empire League in cross country and won the title in the 3,200-meter race at the MEL Track and Field Championships.
With Vintage leaving the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section after the 2017-18 school year and moving into the North Coast Section and a brand new league, Guzman won the Vine Valley Athletic League cross country title.
He has the school record for the 5K Alston Park course and has twice been named as the Vintage’s MVP in cross country.
“He’s put in a ton of work over the past couple of years,” said Pruyn. “He always brings a great attitude and works really hard. That’s going to carry over to a lot of successes – not just running-wise in high school and college, but in most areas of life. The most important thing is just consistency and loving what you do.
“I think Manny is going to be really successful in the collegiate ranks, especially because in cross country and track they allow longer distances. Most what we do in high school is still almost on the shorter distance of distance running. I think his efficiency and his smaller frame is really going to shine through when the distances become longer as opposed to a little bit shorter and more speed-based.”
As a junior, Guzman was 79th in the CIF State Championships for the 5K Division II race at Fresno’s Woodward Park in a time of 16 minutes, 37.2 seconds.
Last fall, Guzman placed 22nd in the state meet in a time of 15:44.4.
He qualified as an individual at the North Coast Section Championships at Hayward High, finishing fourth with a time of 15:04.1.
Guzman won the title at a VVAL cross country center meet at Alston Park, completing the 3.1-mile race in a time of 15:50.8.
Guzman was second at the Ed Sias Classic at Hidden Valley Park in Martinez last fall in a time of 10:21.
“Running has taken me to a lot of new places and seeing new people,” said Guzman. “I’m very excited for what’s next. This is definitely a huge accomplishment for me.”
As a junior, Guzman finished 10th in the 3,200 meters in 9:32.02 at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet at Elk Grove High.
Guzman began this year’s track season by winning the 1,600 meters in 4:41.01 in a VVAL meet against Justin-Siena and Sonoma Valley.
“He loves running,” said Salvador Guzman. “I’m very proud.”
Guzman has personal records of 4:28 for the 1,600 and 9:32 for the 3,200.
He is on the honor roll with a 4.2 GPA and takes advanced placement and college prep courses. He plans to major in biology.
“I can’t wait to spend four years there and just grow as a runner and as a student athlete,” Guzman said. “It’s a perfect combination, I feel, for me to be welcomed into this kind of a community, to continue my academics as well as my athletics in Division I.”
Mark Conover, Cal Poly’s director of track and field and cross country, is a 19-time Big West Conference Coach of the Year and a three-time United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association West Region Coach of the Year.