“McFarland USA” runner Thomas Valles headlines Hispanic Heritage Month event at USI


Courtesy: USI

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Dream big! That’s the motto of USI’s Hispanic Heritage Month keynote speaker Thomas Valles, a member of the state champion McFarland High School cross country team featured in the 2015 Disney film, McFarland USA.

Through a conversation moderated by Paola Marizan ’15, Valles will discuss his historic and inspiring running career, the challenges he faced growing up in a small Latino farming town in the 1980s and what it was like to see his life portrayed on the big screen.

After graduating from McFarland High School in 1988, Valles continued his running career at College of the Sequoias and California State University Bakersfield. He remains involved with the sport through coaching.

He and his wife, Martha, have three children.

Before Valles speaks, guests will be able to enjoy a Latin style dance and a stroll performance.

The free event will be held on Wednesday, October 2nd from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Carter Hall.

Guests will also have a chance to submit questions for Valles.

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(This story was originally published on September 19, 2019)

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