Monett senior Chris Renteria signed a national letter of intent to run cross country and track for Central Methodist University in Fayette.
"It's an awesome feeling," said Renteria. "I have had to overcome a lot of obstacles in my life to get to this point and I am glad to further my education."
Renteria, a three-sport athlete (cross country, wrestling and track), started running for fun at recess as a sixth grader. In the seventh grade he competed on the track and field team and fell in love with running.
"When I run it gives me time to think," said Renteria. "Running gives me a release from life. It allows me to focus. I have high expectations and set aggressive goals for myself. I don't want to fail."
Renteria's coaches realize what a special talent he has.
"Chris is the type of athlete every coach dreams of teaching," said Monett wrestling coach Daryl Bradley. "Because he has had to work for everything in this life, he has developed a work ethic that allows him to accomplish anything he sets his mind on."
His training effort is what sets him apart from most athletes.
"He's the hardest working kid I have ever been around," said Monett track coach Chad Depeť. "He never questions a drill or a workout. He just gives his best effort and puts the training time in, whether in the weight room or on the practice field."
Renteria's leadership qualities are also noted by the coaching staff.
"Chris is a true leader," said Monett track coach Kelly George. "He has the respect of his peers. Chris is a great leader because he helps others when no one is watching. He doesn't do things to gain the spotlight."
Renteria earned All-State honors in cross country, he was a state champion in wrestling and has won numerous medals in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter track events.
"In order to succeed in life or athletics you need to make the right choices," said Renteria. "Go all in. You only have a limited amount of time to compete, so make the most of your opportunities."
Renteria plans to major in biochemistry and physical education.