PALATINE, Ill. – Throughout much of his high school running career, Jhoan Lino (León, Guanajuato/Streamwood) battled tendonitis in his left leg near his knee.
Since coming to Harper in the fall of 2012, he has battled plantar fasciitis but is still making a big impact for both the men's cross country and track and field teams. The sophomore is once again an integral part of the Hawks' cross country team this year again as they approach nationals, and he has been named the seventh Harper College Athlete of the Week for the 2013-14 school year.
Even while Lino was at Streamwood High School, he knew he wanted to compete at the collegiate level. According to him, Harper has given him that perfect opportunity to run while staying close to home.
Last year, Lino was the fifth runner for the national champion Hawks, placing 27th at the national meet.
This past spring he excelled on the track, taking fourth at nationals in the 1500m and running on the national championship-winning 4x800m squad.
This fall, he is filling the same role as the fifth man for a deep and talented squad.
"Everyone works hard, and it really pushes me," Lino said. "We all push each other and don't leave a guy behind."
According to head cross country coach Jim Macinder, Lino is an extremely talented and dedicated athlete.
"He's one of the finest athletes I've come across. He's one of those leaders by action, in the mold of (teammate Nick) Modlin," he said. "If he turned around and ran the race of his life at nationals and was our No. 1 guy, it wouldn't surprise me."
Lino thinks his team has a great shot to win a third consecutive national championship in just over a week in Northfield, Mass. He feels tough practices combined with several meets with four-year schools have made the team stronger.
Academically, Lino has already earned two N4C Academic All-Conference distinctions for maintaining a GPA above 3.0. After getting his Associate in Arts degree in May of 2014, he said he'd love to compete at a four-year school while potentially going into the medical field.
"I've always wanted to go to North Central College. I'd love to compete after Harper," he said. "I hope whichever school I decide to go to, it will be an amazing experience just like Harper."