MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the past four years, Corbin Farias has been running cross country at UC Merced -- a place he didn't really have in mind.
"I am not going to school in the Central Valley - I'm from Sacramento," he said.
But his mom insisted they pay a visit.
"I fell in love with the campus," he said.
Farias immediately called up the cross-country coach.
"This is like two hours later," he said.
Feeling right at home, he'd commit to be a Bobcat, garnering six top-10 finishes and qualifying for the NAIA national championships in 2020.
"I started off really just trying to get involved with athletics," Farias said.
But entering his final two years, he'd switch up the pace.
"My intentions were not to do student government and be an athlete at the same time, but the opportunity just kind of arose," he said.
With the support of his coach, Farias would run for a campus senator position.
He won and turned that into an internship with Valley congressman Jim Costa.
"They really want to see their interns succeed, and I just felt super supported by the staff and Congressman Costa," Farias said.
With that experience, Farias would set his sights on an even bigger race.
"People were like, 'Oh, you should run for president.' so I ended up just running for student body president my senior year, my fourth year."
Working double duty as a runner and student body president, Farias was named the Cal Pac Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
He was selected as just one of 18 students to earn Executive Fellowship for the Center of California Studies upon graduation.
"Interning for the Executive Branch of the California State Government while also taking a graduate course at Sacramento State," he said.
With a graduate degree in hand, he says he's leaving his next move up to fate.
"Hopefully a career in politics or policy -- maybe even consulting, too," he said.
The running shoes will still get put to use.
"I like to say I'm a hobby jogger now because I just get to enjoy it," he said.