April 17, 2013

10 Questions with Bruno Hortelano

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Ten Questions columnist Reena Gilani sits down with senior Bruno Hortelano to discuss what exactly a ‘brunjob’ is, his switch to engineering and his time off for Olympic training.

1. How did you get involved with track?

I was eight years old and my parents told me that I was a fast crawler. It was around the time of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. I’m from Canada and that year Donovan Bailey, a Canadian sprinter, won the Olympics and broke the world record. Between the two things, I was inspired to start running for little club, and 13 years later I’m still running.

Can you talk more about the nice Canadian family that you come from?

Interestingly, both of my parents are Spanish and were raised in Spain. I wasn’t even born in Canada, so we immigrated there. My parents are both pretty short; they’re nice people.

I was told you are much taller than both of your parents.

My parents are both 5’2” — they’re actually the same height. It’s like they were made for each other. I’m about 6” so I guess I just lucked out.

2. What is a “brunjob”?

All I’m allowed to say is: if you don’t know what a brunjob is, then you definitely can’t afford it.

3. Do you want to talk about your guitar-playing ability?

It’s just a hobby of mine. I took piano classes, but I decided it was kind of boring, so I wanted to take up guitar. I went out and bought one and taught myself how to play. I play every so often … my roommate Montez [Blair] probably hates me because I’ll randomly just start playing at 1 a.m.

When did you start playing?

About five years ago.

Do you have any original compositions?

I do, actually. I used to write little love songs for the girls I dated in high school. I would bring the guitar to school and play for them.

Do you sing too?

I try. I’m a shower singer, I’d say.

Would you consider Bob Dylan to be one of your musical influences?

Yes, I love Bob Dylan.

Were you able to go to the concert?

Yes, I did. I loved it so much. Bob Dylan was introduced to me about three years ago and he’s probably one of my favorite singers at this point in my life. When I found out he was coming I was so ecstatic, although I heard he’s kind of a jerk in real life.

Did it seem that way during the concert?

Yeah, he didn’t say anything to the crowd the whole time. He kind of just got on stage, sang his songs and left. I didn’t expect anything less, but, I didn’t expect anything more, either.

4. Is it true that you’re so gullible that you believed your friend was related to the Canadian prime minister?

I guess, Danny [Blackman] has a lying complex where he lies to everyone the first time he meets them. So, the Canadian prime minister’s name is Stephen Harper, and the first time that I met Danny he told me that his name was Daniel Harper and that he lived at the address of the current prime minister of Canada. He knew all the facts and I had no reason not to believe it. I figured there are so many famous people that go to Cornell so there’s no reason not to believe this guy.

How did you discover he was lying?

When he told somebody else a different lie and I was there to witness it.

5. How did you decide to switch to engineering?

Coming into college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was good at biology so I applied to Arts & Sciences, which is what my coach here had recommended when he recruited me. I figured engineering would be better for me because I really like the physics and math parts of it. It’s not really common for anyone to transfer into engineering; I think I was one of three people to do it that year.

What role did dining at RPCC, play in making this decision?

Freshman year at RPCC I got three fortune cookies in a row that said that I would be good at biomedical engineering — all three said the same exact thing, and I still carry those fortunes around in my wallet. I figured that one day, if I become some big biomedical researcher, I’ll have the proof right there.

6. What would one find on your Photo Booth on your computer?

There are some videos of me playing guitar by myself, kind of creepy. There are pictures with friends … and maybe there are some pictures that can’t necessarily be talked about. Clothes may or may not be there.

7. What reason can you attribute to you having the best natural smell ever?

Some people say it’s pheromones, but I really don’t try. I just get out of the shower and am ready to go. Every time Tom Randall would come into my room, he’d say I smelled delicious. I’ve gotten that from people before.

You don’t use cologne or anything?

No cologne. I’ve never owned a bottle; I don’t really need it. I just have a naturally great smell.

8. Can you describe your ideal Friday night?

I do like saying I like going out whenever there are parties going on, hanging out with friends, but I don’t mind just sitting at home watching movies. I’m a pretty big movie buff.

What’s your favorite genre of movie?

Actually, I like all sorts of genres, from action to chick flicks. I’ve seen a couple of black-and-white movies though not many of my friends like them so I just watch those by myself. They’re really good though — probably some of the best movies. Recently all of the movies in Hollywood are terrible. It’s all 3D remakes of old ’90s movies.

9. How did you spend last school year?

I decided to take the year off because last year was an Olympic year. Going into that year, I saw that I could have a really good season. I was close to the Olympic standard time so in January I took a leave of absence from here, went to Spain and trained for six months trying to make the Olympics for Spain. I didn’t make the Olympics, but I almost did. The IAAF has a deadline for everyone by which they have to run the standard qualifying times. Last year it was July 8, and I did run the necessary time but just two weeks after. So, it was on a technicality that I didn’t get to go to the Olympics.

Are you going to try again in the future?

Yes, definitely.

What record do you hold in Spain?

This year I set the Cornell school record in the 300 m, which is kind of an odd distance since it’s three-fourths of an outdoor track, but it turns out it was also a national record in Spain. I guess not many people have run it in the past.

10. What has been the most memorable part of your career at Cornell specifically as a D-I athlete?

Being Ivy League champions as a team is what has stood out to me the most. Track is an individual sport, sure. You have individual success, whether it’s at small meets or Ivys or at Nationals, but there’s no meet like the Heptagonal meet. Even though you have teammates in something completely different from what you’re doing, everyone comes through and really becomes a team. My closest friends are on the track team. I think if I had to say one specific moment, it would be at Indoor Heps this year at Harvard. We beat Princeton by one point, 157-156, and it was a photo finish. It all came down to the last event, and I don’t think anyone’s really seen that in the Ivy League for a few generations.

Were there any individual rivals on Princeton’s team that it felt good to beat?


r team is made up of superstars, and there are a couple of guys on their team that are just incredible at what they do. For us, we have great guys, but what we have that Princeton doesn’t is the depth. For every event, we’re really good. For them, they’re exceptional in a handful of events. This year, at the Indoor Heps, not even those superstars were able to win.

What are your expectations for the remainder of the season?

First of all, I want to win Outdoor Heps. It’s going to be at Princeton, so that would make for a perfect story. I want to make it to Nationals. I’ll be going to Spain this summer to compete for Spain and with that I would like to go to the World Championships, which is tough. That’s my goal — I believe in getting better every year, and I want to continue to do that.

Original Author: Reena Gilani