Senior Spotlight: Sunnyside's Jessica Valles is a three-time Valley champion and dedicated dancer

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In this story, we highlight a senior athlete from Sunnyside High School who competes on the cross country and track and field team.

Jessica Valles has won the Valley championship for three straight years, all while balancing a busy schedule outside of school.

"If you met her at a track meet, and didn't know who Jessica Valles was, you would never know she was a three-time valley champion. She's just so humble in that regard," says Addison Lyons, track and field head coach at Sunnyside.

Jessica is a three-year varsity letter winner in both cross country and track and field.

She has defended her Valley crown twice and was looking to win her fourth straight league title in track this season.

"Sheer luck I say, but it was really thanks to my coaches and how they taught me to handle competition going in and out on and off the track mentally and physically," says Valles.

"Her freshman year she had more confidence in herself and her abilities than I think I ever experienced before. She got out there and instantly was the number one runner," says Lyons.

While the Wildcat has dominated her sport, she has also made time to volunteer. She is an avid horse rider and has danced for hula ohana of Fresno for 14 years.

The Polynesian dance club performs for public and private events.

"Those events are where it really helps us because not only do we get to show culture, but we also bring smiles to the community's face and that's what we like to do," she says.

Jessica will run for Fresno Pacific University this fall and plans to major in Kinesiology.

She says she has always found a family in her cross country and track teams.

"You get the best bond, when you're all out there dying in the sun together and just running for miles together, you really learn a lot about each other," she says.

She's a great teammate who is also nominated for the B'nai B'rith award.

"You don't see people like that and you don't see high school kids like that. I think she embodies the well-rounded student athlete that I think the organization looks for," says Lyons.
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