As young runners, Americas senior Jared Laverty and Hanks senior Mia Rivera always had a team of people encouraging them, pushing them to work harder and to be better.
For the most part the motivation came from club coaches, parents or fellow runners.
But each of them also had someone who actually put in the miles, leading the way through example.
Laverty and Rivera have big brothers, both Division 1 athletes, who have inspired their younger siblings throughout the years.
Laverty’s older brother, Cameron, was a mid-distance runner for Americas and at the University of Houston.
While at Americas, Cameron set five school records at including the 400m, 800m, 1600m, 300m hurdles and 4x400m relay.
Rivera’s older brother, Rodger, is sophomore at the University of Texas and was an All-State cross country performer at Hanks, finishing eighth as a junior and third as a senior at the state meet.
“Cameron has helped me a great deal and he’s someone I look up to and admire for what he did,” Laverty told the El Paso Times last week.
Rivera said her older brother set the pathway for her success and serves as a role model.
“I know that I’m not at his level, but he pushes me to get there,” Rivera said after winning the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday. “He has been there all my life; he has always been by my side. He pushes me to do better, he tells me when I’m doing something wrong but he’s always there for me no matter what.”
Rivera, who picked up her first win of the season, has the city’s 14th fastest time, racing to a 19:53.20 at Shawver Park on Sept. 4.
“I’m where I want to be right now,” she said. “Every day I’m pushing harder. In practice, I’ve been running with the boys and they’re pushing me a lot, that’s why my times have been getting faster.”
Heading into the mid-point of the season, Rivera and Laverty say they are mentally and physically prepared for the championship push.
“I’m racing really well right now,” Rivera said. “My goal is to break 19 minutes because I know colleges are going to be scouting and I want to get a good time so maybe I can earn a scholarship.”
Laverty, who is unbeaten in four races this season, said he too is focused on the stretch run.
“Every year I focus on the long term, and every year the goal is making it to state,” he said. “I’ve been practicing hard all summer with that in mind. I had a really bad junior year so I’m really focused on doing well my senior year.”
Laverty has the city’s fifth fastest boy’s time, clocking in at 15:24.83 at the Canutillo Invitational on Aug. 21.
“I’m always good mentally, even if I lose, I’ll always be in the same mental state to come back,” he said. “I want my senior year to be the best year. I want to make sure we do all the right things. I just want to be the best that I can be and push through with quality work in practice every day.”