May 16, 2013 4:18 PM by Andrew Masuda
Two Atascadero High athletes signed scholarship papers on Thursday to officially become collegiate athletes. Miriam Orozco is headed to Notre Dame de Namur to run Division II cross country and track for the Bay Area school. Ramon Gonzalez will play Division III soccer at the University of Dubuque in Iowa.
The Argonauts compete at the Division II level and finished 14th in the Pacific West Conference last fall. Orozco's chance to run at the collegiate level is something many thought was never possible. She said she had an under-developed foot at a young age. However, she credited her family and coaches for believing in her and helping her chase down a college scholarship.
"Their words and everything have made me dream so much. And I've overcome so many obstacles so I'm just ready. I'm just ready to move on to the next level," said Orozco. She finished 14th at the Pac 7 League Cross Country Finals in the fall. She ranks #2 all-time at Atascadero in the 800 with a mark of 2:27.60 and ranks #4 in the 400 at 1:04.74.
Gonzalez is headed to the University of Dubuque despite never visiting the state of Iowa.
"I'm excited, but I'm nervous also because it's so far away. But since I was little I always wanted to play soccer at a higher level in college and now I get to," said Gonzalez. He expects to play forward for the Spartans and plans to major in aerospace science.
This past season, the Spartans went 11-6-1. They last won the Iowa Conference title in 2010. They have not finished lower than third in the past four years in league play. The Spartans have celebrated 104 total victories and have lost only seven games in the IIAC over the past four seasons.
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