Argeo had always dreamed of competing in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. But, despite being an impressive distance runner during his time at Immokalee High School and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), he would not be allowed to participate in the run, due to his status as a Dreamer.
“I did have a feeling that (not being a U.S. citizen) would be a challenge down the road,” he said in an article for the Naples Daily News, “but for me I was more focused on my time and trying to hit the time standard.”
Argeo came to the United States from Mexico at age 11. He remembers constant fear of deportation and feelings of isolation back then.
“I had a lot of challenges that I guess that made me feel sad,” he said. “Once I joined the sport, I allowed running to be my escape or be like a safe zone for me where I can just feel like everybody else.”
Running was indeed his outlet. While he joined a cross-country team in middle school at the insistence of his friends, it has since become his way of life: first earning him a place on FGCU’s track team, and now a job as an assistant cross-country coach at his alma mater.
“FGCU means so much for me,” he said. “There’s a lot of good people, a lot of caring people that are there to help. Having that environment really helped me excel as a student-athlete. That’s one of the reasons I’m still there. I see it as a great work environment for anybody.”
While Argeo has appealed to U.S. Track and Field to be allowed to compete in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, so far the response has not been hopeful. Still, he is pushing through and continuing his training.
“I’m still going to do my best every day and try not to let the whole idea, of having an, I guess, unpredictable future try to distract me from trying to achieve my best every day,” he said. “I’m still going to be running and I’m still going to pursue the trials for 2024.”