Pilot in the Spotlight: Joash Osoro

By The Beacon | October 26, 2011 9:00pm

(-- The Beacon)

By Bruce Garlinghouse Staff Writer garlingh13@up.edu

This week we met with junior cross country harrier Joash Osoro. Find out what his first experiences in the United States were like and what he would need to survive on a desert island.

You tried soccer and basketball in high school before track and cross country. What was it about cross country that made you want to continue?

After trying cross country my sophomore year of high school, I found out that running was the thing for me. Running has helped shape who I am today. It has taken me to places I never dreamt of as a child. I have been really blessed to have coaches and teammates that have made cross country more fun for me. The cross country team is my family since I am so far away from home. I enjoy the guy's hard work and it inspires me to run faster and hard because I know we all have one thing and that is to help the team do better and be one of the best programs in the country.

How big of a role did fellow Kenyan and teammate Alfred Kipchumba have in your decision to come to UP?

Alfred is a huge influence behind me coming to UP. He made my visit enjoyable, and he was honest with me about the school and the school background. He made me feel like I will be part of something great. Now we are brothers and best friends we joke about a lot of things and we also have a lot of the same goal, which involve running and school.

When you came to America, what was your first impression?

Well I can't really remember everything very well, but I was in shock. I had never seen such a beautiful place, it was like paradise. Coming from a small village where you live in a three-room house: a kitchen, bedroom and sitting room. Everything is at school.

During meal time, seeing people drink milk like water, was another shock. I had cows at home but I never drink milk like they did. Everything seemed like it was free.

What comes to mind when you look back at your journey from Kenya to running for UP?

Good question, a lot of things come to mind. To be really honest one thing that sticks out is how blessed I am to be where I am today. There were days that I used to go to bed with no meal. I could not afford anything and I had no parents to provide for me, so I went all day with one meal, which was tea or porridge for breakfast. Blessed is one word that describes my existence you can say.

You are stuck on a desert island and can bring three things, what would they be?

That is a tough one, I think I will have to take my running shoes, water and phone I can't really go without my phone – it's like my baby. I know it sounds horrible but those are the three things I will bring.

The team is ranked No. 8 in the nation and are a couple days from the WCC Championship and less than a month away from Nationals. What is your mindset for running on such a big stage?

I think running nationals this year will be so different than when I was a frosh. When I was a frosh I did not know what to expect. We have a very legit tough team in the NCAA this year, we have a lot of pressure which means you have to step in the starting line, ready to go or go home, because nobody is going to hand you the trophy. You have to work hard for it, which I am going there to do. With my entire team supporting me I know I can count on them and they can count on me to be ready to go. It's a go-big-or-go home mindset.