Nathan Limon (left) and Daniel Frausto (right) have been playing soccer and running together since their freshman year. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Frausto)
Nathan Limon (left) and Daniel Frausto (right) have been playing soccer and running together since their freshman year.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Frausto

FUHS runners, soccer players learn balance

May 24, 2023

(Left) Nathan Limón and (right) Daniel Frausto will be graduation walking buddies. Frausto said, “Yeah, we enjoy similar things, similar sports. But I feel like our relationship is so much deeper than that,” Frausto said. “If we are ever struggling with anything, we just text each other. We’re always there for each other.” (Photo courtesy of Daniel Frausto)

Seniors Nathan Limón and Daniel Frausto became close friends during their sophomore year of high school. Both athletes were involved in soccer and cross country, and the two would run together every day after soccer practice. These runs sparked a long-lasting friendship. Frausto said, “All of our runs after soccer practices, [Nathan and I] would just joke about stupid things like what our fastest one-second time was. We thought that was so funny.” The two have continued to train together in cross country and track and have been attending Kindred Community Church together since their junior year. Limón and Frausto said that they are like brothers, and they have continued to grow in their Christian faith together. “We just know each other. Frausty is very quiet. I’m not, or depending. He doesn’t have to say something for me to know what’s going on and vice versa,” Limón said. “We can just look at each other. We know what the other is thinking. We know what the other is struggling with.” Both have learned to embrace hardships and find balance in their own ways; however, the two have remained best friends and have continued to bring joy to each other. Frausto and Limón will be walking buddies at graduation. The Tribe Tribune is grateful to both of these top athletes and students for sharing their stories.

Editor’s Note: The Tribe Tribune would like to encourage anyone experiencing similar struggles to reach out to a trusted adult or medical professional.

Star runner shares his story of challenges to help others

I fractured my foot as a sophomore runner last year during a 1600 time trial. I didn’t hit it. I didn’t step in a weird way. It just broke. 

I fractured a rib this year. I didn’t hit it. I didn’t fall. There was just a sudden pain in my side. My junior track season was jeopardized. I had chronic pain in my groin, hips, and knees. Just walking hurt.

Junior Reagan Glidewell (left) and senior Nathan Limón (right) at Prom 2023. Photo by Reagan Glidewell

I didn’t know why my bones were breaking.

Senior Nathan Limón did. I told Limón, my track team captain and one of FUHS’s top distance runners, about my issues, and he said, “Eat more.”

“Food is like gas,” Limón said. “A car needs gas to drive right? You need food to run. Think of it this way, if you start eating a little bit more, and a little bit better, every day, you will start to feel better. Food helps you sleep. Food helps your body and your muscles recover. Food truly will help you feel better.”

Limón said that I could drink my calories if I didn’t want to eat them. He told me I should eat fatty and protein-rich foods that would help me build back muscle. 

Limón knew how to help because he had the same issue when he started counting calories his sophomore year.

From soccer to running

Nathan Limón in 2013. Limon said he struggled with his body image and did not like how he looked. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Limon)

Limón was not always a runner. He grew up wearing soccer cleats. He started soccer at age 8 and played regularly through middle school. He was playing right and left wing his freshman year and had joined track and field to train for soccer. He was due for good seasons in both sports, but just before his third track meet, COVID-19 sent everyone home.

“I told myself, ‘All right, I’m going to train for these two weeks because I know everyone’s gonna get lazy and not train.’ But then two weeks turned into two months. Then two months into eight months,” Limón said. “By sixteen months, I’d lost about 45 pounds. I was running daily, practicing soccer daily, working out daily. That’s when I started to run.”


Limón started calorie-counting sophomore year. He still felt overweight, and he didn’t like it when he overate.

All the training he was doing meant he’d quickly reached a healthy weight, but he couldn’t stop obsessing. Limón believed that skinnier meant faster.

“I would eat only around 1,000 calories,” said Limón, even though most people need more than twice that. “I was determined to just cut the weight as fast as possible. I would run six miles and do two hours of soccer by myself. I’d come back drained, on the verge of passing out, and do an hour of lifting off of pure motivation [to get even thinner].”

“For breakfast I would have a little bit of oatmeal, maybe peanut butter and granola. That’s it,” he said. “For lunch it was chicken breast, rice, or broccoli, spinach. I would have as many greens as I could because they were filling and low-calorie. Then I would maybe have a Clif bar. Just one Clif bar. Maybe some rice cakes. For dinner, I would make these ready-to-go meals that were about 240 calories. That was everything for the day.”

Struggle and recovery

This cycle continued into Limón’s junior year.

“I went into this bad mental state with food to the point where it’s like if I ate anything, I would hate myself for it,” Limón said. “I was eating more, but I hated it. I felt really guilty. I did bump up my calories to 1,600. But if I went 1,700 to 1,800, it was game over. The world was ending. I felt horrible. I couldn’t sleep.”

Senior Nathan Limón earned an athletic scholarship to Hope International University for cross country and track and field. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Limon)

Both FUHS cross country teams in 2021 took 5th league, and Limón also missed qualifying for an individual CIF spot.

After the cross-country season, Limón struggled with persistent injuries. He knows now that his prior eating habits impaired his body’s ability to heal.

“It continually got worse to the point where for a three to four mile run I was limping the whole time,” Limón said. “But I told myself, ‘I’m not going to stop running until my legs fall off.’ [The next day], I realized I couldn’t walk.” Excessive training and a low-calorie diet had led to his injured groin.

Then Limón dislocated his shoulder. While doing a pull-up, his shoulder popped, and he fell straight to the floor. “I had to walk two hours back home with my bike after. It was cold and raining,” Limón said. “I honestly went crazy. I started laughing. Hysterically laughing. I was like, ‘Dude, no way this is happening.’”

He couldn’t train as frequently or as intensely. At one point, he was running with a wrap around his torso to keep his shoulder in place. However, Limón said without these experiences, he would not have developed his internal drive and gratitude.

“After school, every day, for two months—the first week in the pouring rain—, I’d walk to the gym. I started rebuilding myself, rebuilding my mentality,” Limón said. “I can’t do it all, but I’m going to do what I can.”

Leadership and faith

Nathan did not attend church as a child, but a friend encouraged him to connect with Christianity when he was feeling out-of-control and helpless. “At that time, there was a lot going on in my life,” Limón said. “But I had peace with God for the first time in my life.

Alejandro Hernandez (left) said that Nathan Limón has been one of his best friends on the track team. “I mean really what I just want people to know is that he may seem very hard or very cold on the outside, but really he’s just a great, fun loving guy,” Alejandro said. “He’s such a great person. I’m going to miss him a lot.” (Photo courtesy of Nathan Karcher)

Nathan said he started to have a more positive outlook on life, but the change wasn’t overnight. “The old you tries holding you back,” Limón said. “The Bible states that once you accept Jesus, you are a newborn.”

Limón logged 700 miles the summer before his senior year, the highest on the cross-country team. When senior year started, he was named cross-country team captain and immediately went about building team spirit.

Limón and junior Alejandro Hernandez trained together during this fall’s cross country season. Hernandez said he saw a significant shift in Nathan’s mindset from the previous year, and Limón’s change encouraged Hernandez.

“Nathan created a diet plan, put up inspirational quotes, gave us motivation,” said Hernandez. “He got us to work together. He changed my mindset from, ‘This is a competition,’ to, ‘No, we’re doing this for the team. It’s not about you all the time. There’s something beyond you.’”

Limón and senior Daniel Frausto ran together every day after soccer practices their sophomore year, and they continued to train together senior year for cross country.

“Nathan has one of the strongest work ethics of anyone I know,” Frausto said. “He doesn’t make any excuses. He’s really disciplined. Whatever he says he is going to do, he does. That’s something he lives by. I admire that about him.”

This year’s FUHS boys cross-country team qualified for CIF and were Freeway League champions for the first time since 1965.

FUHS cross country coach J.D. Krawczyk said that Nathan helped contribute to the team’s success.

“Before, not many people cared about the sport,” Hernandez said. “Limón made everyone realize, ‘We can actually do something here. Make history.’ And then we did.”

“Nathan has taken more ownership of the team and realized we had something historical going on.  He also became much more of a student of the sport,” Krawczyk said. “He was reading articles and books on mental toughness, training philosophy, nutrition, elite runner news, leadership, and anything that was there to improve himself or that he could also relay to the team.”

His senior track season, Nathan was ranked second in the Freeway League and was set to compete at the Division 2 CIF Championships in the 3,200. However, despite Limón becoming the first runner at FUHS in a decade to break the 10 minute mark in the 3,200, he fell just short, taking 4th at the Freeway League finals when only the top 3 at the meet qualify for CIF. Initially, the fourth place upset broke him.

However, Nathan said that his faith helped him find contentment.

Senior Nathan Limón (right) finished second and junior Alejandro Hernandez (left) finished third at the Freeway League Finals in 2022. Nathan Limón finished with a 9:58 3200 at the Irvine Distance Carnival. Limón was the first FUHS runner in 10 years to break the 10 minute mark. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Karcher)

“One night, the TV was turned on, and it was showing a sermon. I knew God was speaking to me because of one quote: ‘He won’t give you anything until you realize everything you need is God’,” said Limón, who says that he realized having God was far more important than having a CIF title.

Frausto has been taking Limón to church every Sunday since their junior year. Frausto said that Limón has changed as a person through his faith.

“He works hard to read the Bible consistently, even watching sermons on his own,” Frausto said. “From the start, his faith has always been his own. He is the one who reached out to me in the first place.”

Limón hopes to grow his faith, become a more mature Christian, and spread the gospel.

“In 10 years, if I have nothing, I’ll still have Jesus,” Limón said. “And if I have Jesus, I can share Him with others.”

Limón, humble and dedicated, will be the first in his family to attend college, having earned an athletic scholarship to Hope International University where he will run cross-country and track.

Frausto balances sports, academics, friendships

Senior Daniel Frausto has been playing soccer since age 4. At FUHS, Frausto played striker. (Photo courtesy of Carlos Rivera)

FUHS cross country coach J.D. Krawczyk has been coaching senior Daniel Frausto since freshman year. Krawczyk said that Daniel is the definition of “actions speak louder than words”.

“He’s just the nicest kid. He’ll give you the shirt off his back. He’s going to be very successful,” Krawczyk said. “Whatever he chooses to do, he’s going to make a plan, he is going to stick to that plan and he is going to keep working towards it.”

Krawczyk also said that he admires Daniel’s calm. Krawczyk said that Frausto is quiet because he is wise and knows when to say things and when to not.

“It’s purely leading by example. A lot of people think that somebody needs to be vocal to be a leader, and Daniel shows up and he does what he’s supposed to do. Even if it’s something different, don’t second guess. He doesn’t ask questions. He just does it,” Krawczyk said. “When teammates see you doing things that the coach asks you, it allows there to be a stronger coach-athlete relationship. The newcomers see it too. They see a bigger kid that knows how to follow directions, and they ended up doing it themselves. Daniel is a perfect example of a quiet leader.”

Senior Troy Fernandez has been running with Daniel since freshman year. Fernandez said that he admires Frausto’s kindness and humility despite his success.

“He always treats people with respect and kindness. I have spent an unfathomable amount of time studying and training with this man. He is a pillar of determination and success,” Fernandez said. “He is always there when he is needed. He always performs at the level he is expected to or he exceeds it at remarkable levels.”

He always treats people with respect and kindness. I have spent an unfathomable amount of time studying and training with this man. He is a pillar of determination and success.

— Troy Fernandez, 2024

Daniel runs cross country in the fall, switches over to soccer in the winter, and then switches back to track in the spring. Krawczyk said Frausto exemplifies his determination and dedication in all aspects of his life.

Frausto doesn’t pick and choose, but instead, pushes himself passed his limits with all of his commitments. 

“The furthest we ran with [Daniel] in XC was 12-13 miles. But I checked Strava to see that he ran 17 miles. I was like ‘oh boy, I hope the soccer coaches don’t think I told him to do that’, but that kind of self-determination is inspiring to me and his teammates to just get out there and go,” Krawczyk said. “I think it was probably a spontaneous 17 miler. Nevertheless, it made me smile to see him embrace the physical challenges.”

Senior Troy Fernandez has been running with Daniel since freshman year. Fernandez said that he admires Frausto’s kindness and humility despite his success.

“He always treats people with respect and kindness. I have spent an unfathomable amount of time studying and training with this man. He is a pillar of determination and success,” Fernandez said. “He is always there when he is needed. He always performs at the level he is expected to or he exceeds it at remarkable levels.”

Senior Nathan Limón said that Daniel is an expert in balancing three IB Classes, two AP classes, and three sports.

“He’s very disciplined, especially when doing his schoolwork. It is insane because he stays up almost all night, every day, and wakes up and still comes to school,” Limón said. “He looks fully energized, and he is still able to do all his workouts with no complaints.”

(Photo at right) Seniors Vincent Alcantara, Daniel Frausto, Isaiah Ervin, (bottom) Dutch Kohlenberger and Nicholas Vo at ComedySportz this year. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Frausto)
Seniors Laura Brandeis, Vincent Alcantara, Nicholas Vo, Esther Lee, Isaiah Ervin, Daniel Frausto, and Aaron Villaseñor at commitment day. “From friends on the soccer team to friends on track and cross country to the people I eat lunch with to the mostly home-schooled people I go to church with, I appreciate the wide variety of friends I have who enable me to look at life through different perspectives and understand different worldviews,” Daniel said. (Left to right) Ryan Leitner, Daniel Frausto, Troy Fernandez, and Dorian Yepez made up the 4×400 team and finished second at the Freeway League Finals this year. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Frausto)
(Back row) Seniors Nicholas Vo, Daniel Frausto, Vincent Alcantara, Isaiah Ervin, Aaron Villaseñor, Dutch Kohlenberger, junior Diego Cortes (front) Nathan Limón and Damian Negron. The group has been eating lunch together every day since junior year. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Limon)
Nathan Limón, Daniel Frausto, Alejandro Hernandez and Troy Fernandez created a “mega bed” in the middle of the night at the 2022 Big Bear cross country camp. Frausto said, “All of our runs after soccer practices, [Nathan and I] would just joke about stupid things like what our fastest one second time was. We thought that was so funny.” (Photo courtesy of Alejandro Hernandez)

THE TRIBE TRIBUNE • Copyright 2024 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in