Special to the LOGOS
Forgive Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz for missing the first day of class next week. He’s got a good excuse.
Ruvalcaba Cruz is representing his native Mexico in the 2017 World University Games that ends Wednesday, Aug. 30, in Taipei, Taiwan.
In July, Ruvalcaba Cruz, a sophomore engineering major, qualified in the 400 – a competition set Saturday, Aug. 24, at National Taiwan Sport University Arena. And he also might be competing earlier in the 200 IM.
“I am beyond glad that I got an opportunity like this,” Ruvalcaba Cruz, 20, said in a statement before leaving. “I am very proud to represent UIW and my country at my first big international competition. I am excited to see what I can do.”
Ruvalcaba Cruz, who was born in Guadulajara, Mexico, but hails from Tijuana in Baja California, was named the Most Outstanding Male Freshman and as well as Scholar All-Amerca by the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).
He was a two-time champion at the conference championships: 400 Fly (3:52.90) and 200 Fly (1:46.35), while finishing second in the 200 IM (1:49.18). He finished first overall in the men’s 200 Butterfly at the CCSA Conference Championships last February with a time of 1:47.00. Earlier in the season, Ruvalcaba Cruz led all swimmers in the men’s 400 IM with a time of 4:02.00 against Texas A&M on Oct. 19. He also posted the second-best time in the men’s 200 IM with 1:53.36 at the Little Rock (Ark.) Invitational.
“Hector is a jack of all trades,” his head coach, Phillip Davis, said. “He is the anomaly of a swimmer. He works really hard. He arrives early and leaves late. He deserves all the attention he is getting.”
“Hector is very close to being in the ‘A standard’ as being in the Top 50 in the world,” said Davis. “That would give him access to any meet, including the Olympics. UIW swimming and diving has been very fortunate to have two student-athletes on the Mexican National Team. Daniel Torres was the first in 2015-16, but Hector is the first student-athlete in program history