Cibola (Yuma, Ariz.) senior cross country and track star Bernie Montoya was one of the most sought after prospects for the Class of 2013 — and with obvious reason.
Montoya is a state champion in track for the 1,600 and 3,200-meter races and a three-time state champion for cross country. Last April, he won the Adidas Dream Mile in a blazing time of 4:01, beating out a dozen of the nation’s top prep boys distance runners.
The Gatorade Arizona Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year is hardly shy about going an extra mile (or 13) to maintain his status as one of the nation’s top high school runners. In fact, last summer Montoya routinely awoke at 5:45 a.m. to beat the Arizona heat so he could log 13 miles per training run.
High mileage is only part of Montoya's preparation though. Before races, he says he practices a lot of visualization while listening to music.
And what’s running on his pre-race playlist just might surprise you. Check it.
What do you think about as you’re listening to music while warming up?
Montoya: You have to see yourself doing big things in big-time races. I think about different scenarios that can happen in a race — can I be in the front, the back or the side? I try to picture myself with perfect form.
Tell us about your playlist. Are you loyal to a particular genre?
I listen to very random stuff — from dubstep to Beethoven.
Your musical preferences are all over the place. How do you discover new jams?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Pandora. One of the big stations is Today’s Hits and Ke$ha.
A Ke$ha fan are we?
I listen to Kesha a little bit. At first I thought her music was a little bit weird, but now I think it’s pretty cool. I like “C’Mon”, “Die Young” and “Tik Tok”.
Any other female artists high on your list?
I love old school Mariah Carey. Growing up, I used to listen to Mariah because my sister and aunt would listen to her. I remember watching her on TV. I really like “I’ll Be There”, “Without You” and “Always Be My Baby”.
When you’re not obsessing over Mariah, what other artists get your attention?
I’m a big fan of hip-hop. I also listen to 2 Chainz, Jay-Z and Drake.
Country music — yay or nay?
I’ve never had a problem with any genre. I’m very open to all kinds of music. Sometimes I listen to country. It depends on my mood, which can change on the day of a race.