Editor’s note: Over the next few weeks, the Gazette will be printing Senior Showcases, which are short biographies or highlights about senior athletes who had their final year of high school cut short due to Covid-19. This is being done as a way to pay tribute to these student-athletes. We hope you enjoy this feature. You can nominate a senior to be featured by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reyna Mero is one busy athlete.
In the fall, she dedicated herself to volleyball, as the Mariposa County High School varsity team’s setter. Come springtime, it was all about softball.
She had her spring softball season cut short due to Covid-19. The senior outfielder was batting .375 in four games prior to the season being called off. She had scored two runs as well.
But in between those school sports, she finds time to endurance race, which is a sport in which riders, in partnership with their horse, travel typically 50-100 miles in a race.
The sport is recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports Endurance riding and is in many ways a solo sport, such as tennis or golf.
With no further ado, here is a profile on the versatile Mero.
Name: Reyna Mero
Aside from volleyball and softball, you are a great endurance rider. Can you tell us a bit about what endurance riding is? Endurance rides are either 50 or 100 mile races. The 50, you have 12 hours to complete them. With the 100 mile race, you have 24 hours to compete them. It’s a long distance horse race on various terrain.
How long have you been endurance riding, and why did you get into it? I did my first endurance ride when I was 6 years old. I did a 50 miler. I got into the sport because of my mom (veterinarian Jay Mero). She got into it later in life. But we always had horses growing up. … She brought us into the sport with her. At that time, there were a couple of other kids also doing it.
You’ve traveled all over doing endurance riding, correct? What are some of the places you’ve been to? I got selected to go to Australia and competed in a 50 miler there. I rode a totally different horse that I’d never met before.
Hobbies, aside from sports? I would say animals. I’m usually with them a lot. I show animals at the fair, so I have a steer and that takes up a lot of time with riding and working with him. I like going on walks with my dogs. With school and everything, it’s really busy. Summertime is when I do basic hobbies.
What do you miss the most about playing sports right now? I’d honestly say the relationships that you get with the team. When you first start playing in the beginning of the season, each year there are new players on the team. When you get to the middle and end of the season, everyone starts connecting and playing so much better. Everyone gets in the groove and understands everyone else. The team clicks, and that’s nice when it happens. It makes the rest of the season so exciting. It’s upsetting that wasn’t able to happen this spring.
What is your greatest accomplishment as an athlete? I’d say for volleyball, I was always kind of a mentor for people. I was a captain on the team the last year. It was cool for younger players to come to me for advice and ask me how to do things. I loved helping them and showing them how to do things. I like being a leader and that was nice for me. In softball, it was kind of the same thing. Brylei Pearson and I had some of the younger girls look up to us, and talk to us about things, not just sports related. It was cool to be on the upper end of that.
Who are you grateful for; who got you to this point in your life or in sports? I’d say mainly my mom. My mom has been the backbone of a lot of things. She supported me. She’s a veterinarian so she is gone a lot, but tried to make it to every game she could. She always encouraged me to do my best.
What are your plans after high school? I’m planning to go to Fresno State and hopefully graduate with an animal science major. Then I’ll go to Davis for vet school.
Favorite class at school: AP Environmental Science. Miss Totten was one of those mentors. It was a nice class to have and there was a lot of relevant things happening in the world, with climate change and things like that. I liked having Miss Totten because she’s always there for us kids. During this time (of distance learning) she has been encouraging and checking in with us.
Favorite food: Sushi.
Do you have any special foods you eat prior to a sporting contest? I usually keep it light because if I eat something heavy I might feel sick. It’s usually fruit or something that is light or good.
Do you enjoy playing volleyball or softball more? Probably volleyball, just because I’ve played it since I was little.