On August 28, 2017, David Torrence ’03 passed away at the age of 31 in Scottsdale, Arizona, where his body was tragically found in an apartment swimming pool.
David ran cross-country and track at Loyola High School. His senior year, David led the cross-country team to a CIF state title. This season the cross-country team has decided to wear the initials “D.T.” on their uniforms at every race this year to honor the contributions David has made to Loyola’s running program.
After graduating from Loyola in 2003, he matriculated to the University of California, Berkeley, where he currently holds the school record in the mile with a time of 3:58.62.
After a successful collegiate running career at UC Berkeley, David followed his passion and signed with many sponsors, such as Puma, Nike, and Hoka One One to run professionally.
One of the most versatile runners of his generation, David could run with the best from the 800m to the 5000m. He set two American records in the indoor 1000m and the indoor 4x800m races.
After many successful years representing the United States, David decided to run for Peru in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. He advanced to the finals of the men’s 5000m while setting a Peruvian national record of 13:23.30. Running against Olympic running legends such as Mo Farah and Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo, David placed 15th overall.
David’s last race was earlier in August at the World Championships in London. Racing in the 1500m, David set a national record for Peru once again with a time of 3:34.67.
David was a beloved figure in the track world. Once word came out about his passing, runners from all over the world took to social media to share their favorite stories about David. The amount of love was overwhelming. No one knew that a young freshman runner at Loyola High School could have such a positive impact in this world later in life. He was never too proud to wave to fans, to smile for a photo or to give some words of advice to a passionate fan looking to improve.
David’s passion was always running from a young age. As he realized his true potential in the sport, David saw his position as a ped estal to inspire younger generations. His story is one of hard work, dedication and most of all, heart. When asked about his experience at Loyola, David gratefully thanked his alma mater for teaching him “how to push and how to dig deep.”
David earned everything he got in life, and he never took anything for granted. A kind-hearted soul, David exemplified each day what it means to be a man for others and a Cub for life. Coach Lalo Diaz had some warming words about David’s legacy at Loyola: “David is without a doubt the most accomplished post-collegiate runner that I have ever coached. He was the first Peruvian to ever make the track finals in the Olympics. But with all that being said, he was an even better person. To know David was to love David.”
When asked why he put his body through such excruciating pain every day, David responded in the most fitting way possible: “I’m not only training to be an athlete here. I’m training to be a better man, a man for others.”
Hoka One One will honor David by naming their annual men’s Long Island Mile after him, an event which he won in 2015 and 2016. The world has lost a great friend, and David will forever be missed. May the Loyola community continue to pray for him and his family as we celebrate the fulfilling life that he lived, and may he forever rest in peace.