The unstoppable rise of Cross Country runner Chuli Serra ’24


Courtesy of Carl Kafka Photography

Serra’s practice regimen involves an intense daily running schedule.

The 2022-2023 season for Ransom Everglades’ Track and Field and Cross-Country teams was nothing short of a spectacle. Following this month’s regional championships, Antonio Macedo ’24, Chuli Serra ’24, Kennedy Hagen ’24, Marella Rebessi ’24, Pia Drulard ’24, Latrice Nelson ‘25, and Alexandra Leiser ‘25 all qualified for the states. 

However, much of the success of the Cross Country and track and field teams is thanks to junior Chuli Serra ’24. Following the Track and Field team’s recent performance at the Regional Championships, Serra finished first place in both the mile and two mile. In fact, Serra’s top finishes marked the 12th fastest time in Florida history and the fastest time in Miami Dade County with a 4:09.32 time in the 1600 meter and a 9:04.22 time in the 3200 meter. 

Even though he’s proven to be one of the fastest runners in the country, initially, Serra’s main goals were set on a different sport: soccer. “I started because I wanted to get faster for soccer,” said Serra. In middle school, Serra was a standout soccer player, leading the team to many victories. However, coming up on his senior year, Serra has shifted his priorities to track and Cross Country, hoping to continue his athletic career at higher levels.  

“I chose track because my strength has always been my endurance. I love it because I get to push my body and mind to new limits I never thought were achievable,” said Serra.  

While many athletes’ eyes are often only set on playing at the collegiate level, Serra has much larger goals. In the future, Serra hopes to “make it to the Olympics, win a gold medal, and to win a NCAA D1 gold medal.” Some might view these aspirations as crazy or ridiculous, but it is evident following the 2022-2023 season that these goals could be attainable for Serra.  

Serra works hard to attain his goals, following a strict training regime each day. He runs multiple times every day, often starting before others have woken up. He starts off “running 3 miles in the morning” before school. Then, at “4 PM, I get to the track, warm up with a 1.75 mile run, and stretch for the workout.” “[The] workout starts around 5:00 PM, and it varies day to day,” he explained.  

I know what you must be thinking: That is an intense workout. But it’s not over yet for Serra. “At 6:00 PM the workout is over, and [my teammates and I] talk about it and our goals for the upcoming race,” he said. “Then, at around 6:10 PM, we start our cooldown run—anywhere from 3-5 miles,” said Serra. 

With a difficult school workload and relentlessly busy schedule, Serra not only prepares his body physically but also mentally. “My mindset going into each meet is to have fun, because I know I have put in the work and everything else is in God’s hands. Anxiety and fear won’t help anything. I know anything that happens is all a part of God’s perfect plan,” said Serra. 

Around his teammates, Serra is known for his work ethic and ability to motivate others. Antonio de Macedo ’24, a teammate of Serra, said “his hard work and determination inspires those around him.” Knowing that I, no matter how much I pray, could not achieve Serra’s mile time inspires me, too.  

During their season, RE Boys’ Cross Country qualified for the state championship after a first-place finish from Serra and top 10 finishes from George Wood-Leness ’24 and Ethan Sullivan ’25. Led by coaches Mike Becker and Don Kappelman, RE’s Cross Country teams set a mark for future years to strive for.