Athlete of the Month: Candace Rucker

Gaby Dinh, Staff Writer

Hard work and dedication drives senior Candace Rucker to excel in school and on the track field. Balancing many extracurricular activities, Rucker is not your average student. She is a varsity track star, a varsity cheerleader, and a dancer in Diamond Bar’s advanced dance.

Rucker has been in track for about twelve years and got involved in varsity track and field in her freshman year.  Her father was the one that pushed her to begin the sport, as he was also in track when he was in high school. Even though Rucker enjoys track and field now, she says that it was not always the case.

“My dad was living vicariously through me and I didn’t really have a choice. I used to hate track, and my dad gave me an option not to do it this year. It made me realize that I actually wanted to do it now. I started liking it this year,” Rucker said.

Rucker started most of her extracurricular activities at an early age. In awe and admiration of her elementary school friend, Rucker was inspired to join cheerleading. She became a varsity cheerleader in her sophomore year.

Due to her busy schedule, Rucker cannot be the varsity track captain and cannot go to all of the track practices. Despite these setbacks, she is the only senior on the sprints team.

Rucker participates in the 100 meter and 200 meter relays. In her most recent track meet at Azusa Pacific University, she was able to place fourth.

“With track, it’s not all completely about points because you can be so close to first place with mere seconds. Of course, you could be dead last, but with track it’s a lot different from other sports in that the gap that between first and second is usually not that far off,” Rucker said.

For Rucker, balancing her social life is difficult. It’s challenging for her to find time to hang out with her friends because her schedule is packed. However, a star student knows how to make time for fun while getting the work done. Rucker manages her time well so she has time for both fun and work.  Despite this, she can always find a way to manage her schoolwork.

“Whenever I get home I do homework until I go to bed. I don’t procrastinate because I just think about how if I finish this homework now I can go to sleep earlier. I love to sleep, so that is my motivation to not procrastinate,” she said.

Rucker has decided to go to UC Irvine in the fall. She is considering pursuing track and field in college.

“I keep on telling people I don’t want to continue track in college but I think I might,” she said. “It’s a good way to stay fit and college is more stressful in high school so you got to keep that fitness.”