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High School Sports

Season Interrupted: Gabriel Abbes is philosophical about the past, future

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Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.

Name: Gabriel Abbes

School: Temecula Great Oak

Sport: Cross country and track

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Key stats: Finished eighth in the 2019 CIF state Division I cross-country final; was preparing to run the 3,200 in track; 4.5 GPA

Fall plans: Will attend California

On the track season being canceled:

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“After missing my junior year with an injury, I was ready to come back with a storm. Sadly, it’s a whole basket full of emotions. You never know what to expect but for this to happen is even more baffling. It’s much bigger than us.”

On life without sports:

“I’m still training, still putting in the work. I used a club in school where we get 10 people on my team to write letters to people in nursing facilities.”

On the new things he’s discovered with his free time:

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“I’m gardening. We’ve got lettuce, we’ve got spinach. It’s like running. It’s patience. In time things will come.”

On the pain of running:

“That’s what I look forward to. You put in the work and that pain is something rewarding to you. To not have that is disappointing.”

On running for Great Oak, winners of six consecutive state titles:

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“It’s been truly a privilege. You go into freshman year and don’t expect much. To finish off four years with four rings and an amazing coaching staff . . . I’ve been so lucky.”

On his love of soccer:

“We’re fanatics. My dad has a tattoo of Boca Juniors in Argentina.”

Fans were ready to fill the bleachers in Arcadia this weekend to watch Nico Young of Newbury Park launch his bid to break the 3,200 meters national record.
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On the lessons he’s learned:

“I take this idea: You can always look back and know what happened but you can never look forward and understand it because the future is the future. You never know. We were in this circumstance but got out of it. We’re experiencing this and getting better for it.”

On where he sees himself in 10 years:

“I would want to be in law or business, something that can contribute to society.”

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Video interviews of each athlete can be found at latimes.com/sports/highschool.


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