An Inspiring Runner at Eisenhower - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

An Inspiring Runner at Eisenhower

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- Part of the thrill of a cross country run is  seeing what is around you and hearing your feet hit the ground. In a race, it is hearing the crowd cheer you along.

Eisenhower Cross-Country Coach Phil English says, "When he first came out as a freshman, we had to keep him at the stadium for a few weeks."

English has seen Cadet Senior Ivan Alfaro go from an average junior varsity runner as a freshman to a key member of an Ike team that finished 6th in state this year.
English says, "All the kids see him as an inspiration, a great motivator."

But what makes Alfaro more inspirational ss that he has Usher Syndrome, a disorder that makes him deaf and have no peripheral vision.

Through an interpreter, Ivan signs, "I have to be very careful and watch and be safe so I don't get hit by a car. I really have to be watching a lot so no one hits me. When I'm doing the drills and stuff, it's really hard, the unevenness of the ground. Yeah, because I can't really see the ground."

Running is especially hard for Ivan at the start of a cross-country race.

English says, "He's got to let the entire pack go first and then run everyone down."

Alfaro could eventually be totally blind but one thing that won't fade is his passion for Cross-Country.

He says, "It is my favorite. I love running. Even though I have Usher, I love running, it doesn't matter at all."

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