|A few minutes with wrestling champ Pacifico Garcia|
April 27, 2005
"A few minutes with" is a lighter look at a student who has recently been in the news.
Last month, Pacifico Garcia defeated Jason Rhoten of Minnesota State, Mankato, to take the 149-pound weight class Division II National Championship. Garcia, a Fresno native, became the ninth Gator to win an individual championship. In addition, he became the 75th SFSU grappler named to the Division II All-American team.
A junior majoring in liberal studies, Garcia aspires to leave SFSU as a two-time national champion and go on and coach high school wrestling. He hopes the future will bring some additional "Garcia champions."
Favorite SFSU faculty member? Why?
Someone I've really appreciated this last semester is my Kinesiology teacher, Mi-Sook-Kim. She recognizes that I am a student athlete and [that] I'm trying to do my best in the classroom and in sports, and so I come to her during office hours for help. She's really accepting and helps me out. She taught a class, Peak Performance, and she gave me some strategies on how to deal with anxieties when I compete.
Who are your heroes?
My pops. My pops has really had my back and been so supportive in high school and in college. As a student athlete, I really haven't worked, so [he's] been supporting me financially. Through the thick and thin, he's had my back.
What are your long-term goals?
I want to finish my career as a two-time national champion here at San Francisco State. That's my college career. Other than having a family, getting married and raising some Garcia champions, I want to develop a good high school program where I can have a good relationship with my athletes. [I want to] give them the opportunity to go to college.
What inspires you?
One of the biggest motivations I get is my family. I've got to show them that what they've been doing -- supporting me -- is paying off. Whenever I get an award, I always give it to my parents because they deserve it. They put up with so much for me and sacrifice a lot.
Name a guilty pleasure of yours.
I like to drive fast. I like to get that adrenaline rush from driving fast.
What person, dead or living, would you most like to meet?
The correct answer is Jesus on that one. I've got to say him because I'm in the stage where I'm seeking more of religion and more of who Jesus is. And I think if I got to meet him, he would answer all my questions.
If you could change one thing about SFSU what would it be and why?
If we keep promoting sports, it would be awesome. The atmosphere would be better and I think it could start some traditions of winning [sports] programs.
One I like to motivate me is "Go hard or go home." It brings me to realize that I need to come to compete with my best every time I wrestle.
-- Student Writer Lisa Rau with William Morris
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