Lakehawk student-athletes achieve personal bests at Puerto Rican Championships (left-to-right) Santos Aguilar, Coach Cristy Snellgroves, Puerto Rican National Track & Field Coach Felix Diaz, and Darwin Vega Ramos at Estadio Jose A. Figueroa Freyre.

Two track student-athletes from ϲʲͼ were standouts at the Puerto Rican National Championships held at Estadio Jose A. Figueroa Freyre in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Despite weather delays impacting the schedule, both Santos Aguilar and Darwin Vega Ramos achieved personal best times in their respective events.

Aguilar and Vega Ramos were joined in Puerto Rico by ϲʲͼ’s Track Head Coach Cristy Snellgroves.

Man running in a track uniform with sunglasses
Santos Aguilar competing in the 800m at the Puerto Rican National Championships.

Sophomore Santos Aguilar ran the 800-meter in 1:53.62, finishing 5th in the senior division. His event was rescheduled to Saturday, moving all athletes straight to the finals.

“Santos ran a strategic race against a field of world-class and talented athletes in his first international race,” said ϲʲͼ Head Track Coach Cristy Snellgroves. “With his potential still untapped, I expect Santos to have many great races ahead of him as a leader on our Lakehawk team.”

Incoming freshman Darwin Vega Ramos competed in the 400-meter hurdles, achieving a personal best of 59.13 seconds. In a thrilling finish, Darwin secured the bronze medal in the 18-19 year old division by just 0.05 seconds.

Darwin Vega Ramos with his bronze medal for his performance in the 400m hurdles.

“We are excited to welcome Darwin to our team at ϲʲͼ,” says Snellgroves. “His strategic and smart racing at this event show his immense talent and potential.”

“ϲʲͼ Track is grateful for the support from the Puerto Rican Federation and leadership from FAPUR, especially Luis Dieppa, and Felix Diaz, Puerto Rican National Coach,” shared Snellgroves. “Felix provided guidance and support to our student-athletes and ultimately made this trip possible by going above and beyond in his efforts. We are proud that our athletes were able to represent Puerto Rico and appreciate the support of these leaders.”

“These student-athletes’ performances highlight the promising future of the College’s track program.”

ϲʲͼ Head Coach Snellgroves has experience coaching and competing at the international level. She was the Women’s Distance Coach for Team USA at both the World Indoor Championships in March 2024 and the Pan American U20 Championships in August 2023. Coincidentally, Snellgroves was familiar with this location as the Pan Am Championships were held at the same stadium in Puerto Rico.

Snellgroves also boasts an impressive resume as a two-time U.S. medalist in the 50-mile National Championships, a bronze medalist at the Comrades Marathon 89k South Africa, and over 130 marathons completed in her running career.

Snellgroves provided coaching and support to the student-athletes at this national championship in accordance with NJCAA guidelines.