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Women’s Track and Field: Go Bulldogs! Edition

There’s always a person responsible for effective teamwork and victories. That’s why for this Justas 2014, taking place April 6- April 12, HC-UPRM wants you to know the people responsible for keeping our teams together and strong.

Meet Zaida López, captain of the Women’s Track and Field Team that will represent us in the Justas this week. Zaida is full of talents and one of them besides jumping, is her leadership skills. As captain, she has learned that patience, empathy, and dedication are the key to having a happy team. Read more about Zaida’s experiences as captain. 

Name: Zaida Marie López Rivera         

Team: Track and Field

Major: Psychology

Year: Senior

HCUPRM: What is your role as captain?

ZLR: My role as team captain is to be a strong team leader of the Track and Field Team of the UPR Mayagüez Campus in and out of the competitive environment. I am privileged to improve relations and communication between athletes, coaches, and other team members. In most cases, you have to be a person of character and likewise, maintain empathy with athletes. I put myself in their shoes, motivate them, understand their frustrations, and their views are some of the defining characteristics of my daily life . These experiences help me cooperate with situations, be on the search for viable alternatives to get a healthy dialogue as convincingly as the actions and circumstances warrant. My work is also to foster an environment of freedom of expression and recognize that each of the members is valuable for what they have. Boarding my colleagues before, during and after practice so that you stay focused on meeting your goals and objectives for success. It is my duty to maintain a good competitive scenario, overcoming fears and thus reaching the target according to the qualities and circumstances of each member of the team.

HCUPRM: How is your relation with the team?

ZLR:  Team relationships have to be really careful because you need to keep emotional and physical stability. Given that the role of the captain is well defined and has corresponding rules, the obligations and duties should positively influence the behavior of my peers. The relationship between the coach and the captain have a great importance in terms of collaboration with the team especially in complicated situations where one needs to know the opinions of the members of the team. The coach who has good relations with athletes creates and fosters friendly emotional relationships. This is achieved when the coach guides us, gives advice and gives us tips besides the difference in age , experience, and the rights and duties of each individual. The relationship with my track and field team is one where many exceptionalities occur and where there is trust with each of the team members. The main goal of athletes and coaches is to maintain respect and share responsibility where commitment is achieved. This involves mutual support , sacrifice, and effort of every member. One of the main challenges is the performance, according to the communication and understanding of the objectives . This achieves the maximum advantage of the strengths, since this determines how the talents of each individual are developed and how the team is formed. However, it’s important to note that the team is formed by a group of people who maintain the service although we have individual interests and does not harm the relationship between the members.

HCUPRM: How has been the experience and work leading up to this event (Justas)?

ZLR: The previous experiences have been amazingly fair, the training has been cumulative and this leads to many moments of sacrifice and pain but steps have been successful and we are filled with much emotion. The efforts have been made to reach the fair awaited LAI . The road has not been easy and the performance of each athlete is one of day by day; every effort , every drop of sweat , in pain, in each of the practices and workouts where we come out with the hope that there will be better days. We leave with the satisfaction and belief that life is hard, it is where you have to battle and fight to get what you want and keep what you have. Actually the commitment of each of the athletes and coaches are sincere and honest since we are in the most important competitive stage of college life. All the team has met the necessary effort to represent “the College”. Every opportunity obtained prior to this event is enriching and each experience has been permanently imprinted on each of the lives of coaches and athletes.


HCUPRM: What do you like the most about your job as team captain?

ZLR: Given that I’m a pretty competitive person, experience as an athlete and team captain of the track and field team makes me think and see life from another point of view. Being an athlete and student at the same time is difficult but it gives me a chance to live again and again each of the experiences, past situations that have occurred during the development of each athlete and coach. It gives me great feeling to know that every effort , sacrifice, difficult time on the track is part of an adventure in the life of every human being. I understand that as time passes, it fills me with great satisfaction and pride to have worked with some of my knowledge to every person who hits my being. I like to know your impression and development through capacity acquired in college and in their environment. The opportunities that occur after being in constant struggle and growth lead me to think that in the way that each athlete has strived to be part of a team , being part of the institution and keep your life as healthy as possible is a great door forward as one way or another will be successful because they have developed values ​​and skills before, during and after the struggle of every training or practice.

HCUPRM: What can UPRM fans expect from your team’s participation this Justas 2014?

ZLR: They should be prepared for action and to understand that any time you see, really feel . The time of entry of the athletes will be close which has been a struggle in each qualifying for a long time . This creates impatience and many concerns about who will win, who will have a better performance among athletes who are students of RUM and awaited LAI . The fans must be faithful to the green and white colors ; they should consider being a major role in every athlete but not be recognized individually. They are the ones that often give life, strength to those who are ” actors ” of the real Fair, both filled with excitement and fun. Each of the athletes have given their best and been strong in body, mind, and heart in the struggle for participation this year. Unlike others, we will have broad participation in the events and are expected to support each attempt , every race , every effort because it’s all worth it . This support helps us to continue to improve and persevere each day according to our abilities and skills . Undoubtedly, the track will be full of excitement and adrenaline in an upbeat atmosphere.


A trilingual and cheerful student that has a passion for justice. 20 year old, majoring in Psychology and minoring in International Relations, future law student. Born in Puerto Rico.
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