by Mitch Harris
Senior Jo Alan Castilleja committed in early April to run at Texas Christian University next year.
Castilleja chose to picked the Horned Frogs after mulling over opportunities to run at Rice and Villanova.
“I took an official visit at TCU in March and the school was a great fit for me,” Castilleja said. “The coach was really cool and the environment at TCU will be a great experience for me.”
Castilleja finishes his high school career as one of St. Thomas’ most decorated runners.
He was team MVP in both Cross Country and Track & Field. In the 800M he is a 3-Time All-District, All-Region, and All-State champion. He also earned All-District and All-Region three times in the 1600M, while earning All-State in the event the last two years. For cross country, Castilleja is the two time reigning district champion earning All-District for 4 years and earning All-State and Academic All-State his senior year.
“I’m really excited about running in the Big XII [conference],” Castilleja said. “Running Division I has been a dream of mine for a long time and it is an opportunity most people do not get to experience.”
Coach Labus credits Coach Vance Reyes for being a big help in improving the long distance program over the last couple years.
Castilleja will not be the only senior running moving to the next level. Nick Matthews will be running at MIT next year.
The loss of two decorated runners is not concerning Coach Labus, who is confident that his incoming seniors will step up the challenge while Castilleja and Matthews move on.
“We are going to miss Alan next year for sure,” Labus said. “This is a one in a lifetime opportunity and I am confident he will succeed at TCU.”