Diego Courbis, the 2017 Big West Conference champion in the 400-meter hurdles, is training in Santander, Spain, where he was raised, to compete in several elite meets and to visit his friends and family this summer (his parents still live there).
Courbis, heading into his junior year at Cal State Fullerton this fall, will compete in Pamplona as well as the U23 Nationals, where he placed fifth in 2016. He will also compete in the Spanish National Championship, where he will go against some of the world’s best athletes.
He hopes the overseas competition will help him when he faces pros after graduation.
“I’m always excited to go home and see my parents and friends of course,” Courbis said, “but I love having the chance every year of being able to run with top-notch athletes and run in such thrilling meets.”
He has been sticking to a strict training schedule provided to him by Marques Barosso, CSUF assistant coach for sprinters, hurdlers and relays who was the 2006 Big West champion in the 200 while a collegiate athlete at Fullerton.
Courbis, who is majoring in communications with an advertisement concentration, has also been training with Olympic high jump champion Ruth Beitia every day, a teammate of Courbis’ since he was about 9 years old. He said Beitia is a great example and motivation for him to strive for better.
“It’s an honor to have the chance to grow under her wing,” he said.
Though Courbis has found it challenging not to have a group of athletes in his event to train with like he has at Fullerton, he is benefiting from the fierce competition of meets, which has allowed him to see where he stacks up internationally.
“I’ve been running against the best athletes of the country so it’s been quite a fun and challenging ride…