Cubs cross country star Audrey Suarez commits to Stanford University
Flanked by festive cardinal red-and-white balloons, San Gabriel Valley standout Audrey Suarez signed a national letter of intent this week to join the reigning PAC-12 champion cross country team at Stanford University. Consistently ranked in the top five runners in California State Division 4 throughout her high school career, Audrey has had an exceptional athletic career at Mayfield from day one. In her freshman year, Audrey became the first Mayfield track and field athlete in history to qualify for the CIF State meet, where she placed 5th in the 1600m. At the CIF-SS Masters meet that year, she ran this distance in a blistering 4:47:83—the third-fastest time in the nation for a freshman.
In 2018, in her sophomore year, she became Mayfield’s first-ever state champion when she won the Division 4 State Championship race in Fresno on Thanksgiving weekend. In what Mayfield Athletic Director Steve Bergen describes as ”a career of top moments,” he ranks this extraordinary performance, which saw Audrey take a wrong turn that lost her 15 precious seconds, as her most memorable. “Seeing her win a state title for Mayfield is something I will never forget,” says Bergen. Later that year, she ran a “lightning mile” in 4:45 —the 9th fastest time in the nation among all high school students—and placed 3rd in the state of California.
At the time, she remarked that the community around her helped motivate her, saying, “The demanding sport encouraged me to surround myself with dreamers, believers and passionate people who help me achieve my goal.”
In her junior year, Audrey went on to win her first CIF sectional championship during the cross country season at the three-mile Riverside cross country course in a time of 17:24.7. Then she led Mayfield to a 6th place team finish in Division 4 in 2019. In her career, Audrey has been named Prep League Most Valuable Runner all three years and has led the team to three consecutive top 10 finishes at the state meet. In her three years at state she has taken placed in the top three as an individual every time—a remarkable achievement.
Audrey’s mother Vivian recalled how as early as the third grade her P.E. teachers noticed her speed on the playground. At that young age, she joined the fifth- and sixth-grade track team and, before long, was running with the seventh- and eighth-graders. “That’s when I knew that we may have found her sport,” said her mother Vivian.
Grounded and quick to laugh, Audrey praised her teachers and coaches after her signing ceremony at Mayfield, and also acknowledged the inspiration she drew from her parents. “My mom always has a very positive attitude, no matter what,” Audrey says. “And my dad has always just given really good advice and pep talks as well.”
Like most high school athletes, pandemic restrictions have made it impossible for Audrey to properly train or compete in cross country meets in 2020. But being back on the Mayfield campus, even for a scaled back and socially-distant signing day celebration, was something she expressed a lot of gratitude for. “I know because of COVID a lot of schools weren't able to set up anything, and for my school still to make this a huge effort and have this really nice set-up for me, it means so much,” Audrey says.
Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 21 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.