From ACL surgery to Heartland All-Conference

ALONDRA ROMO’S athletic career almost ended when she had to get ACL reconstruction surgery after a soccer incident in high school. Vlada Litvinova, Staff Writer

Junior cross country runner Alondra Romo started her sports career as most college athletes do: participating in a sport because of friends. She was just another girl from a small town in Kansas, but she has since become a sensation within the Heartland Conference. 

The Dodge City native ran cross country in high school, earned two varsity letters and also was a part of two all-league teams her junior and senior year. She also received all-league, all-region, and all-state awards her senior year.

But Romo, who was an Academic All-American and All-Conference her sophomore and junior year here at Newman, almost did not have a career after suffering a ACL injury playing soccer during her sophomore year of high school. 

“I got the ball and a girl from the other team came charging at me. My cleats got stuck in the turf and my leg twisted,” she said. “When I fell, it just felt like a really bad cramp. When I went to the doctor the next morning, and he told me I tore my ACL, I thought he was joking until I had to get ACL reconstruction. “

Happy she has not been plagued with any more injuries, Romo said running is an integral part of her daily life.  

“Running cross country shows me what I am capable of, mentally,” she said. “My knee still hurts occasionally from the ACL tear, but somehow running helps me get past that.”

When she is not assisting her team in the Heartland Conference Championships like she did this last fall, placing 12th and helping her team grab third, she focuses on her college major: nursing.

“I was suppose to start last semester nursing school, but I waited because I didn’t want to start during season. I wanted to get adjusted first,” she said. “So next semester is going to be tough, but I know I’m capable of doing it.” 

Junior Cierra Devorce has been friends and teammates with Romo since the two became roommates their freshman year. Since then, she said, she has yet to see Romo fall short of the expectations she has set for herself. 

“She has a great work ethic, athletically and academically,” she said. “She is always working hard, never cutting out on workouts and she’s always studying and staying dedicated to her work inside and outside of school. That’s the kind of person Alondra is.”

This story first appeared in the February 8, 2018 issue of The Vantage. It was co-written by Kevin Clack and Leah Graham.