Willamina’s Cruz Snaps 44-Year 3,000-Meter Record

By Jeremy McDonald


SWEET HOME, Ore.–  Willamina’s Jose Cruz broke an 44-year record in the Bulldog Track and Field program by breaking the 3,000-meter record at the Meet of Champions Saturday by 14 seconds.

The old record was 9:35, Cruz finished the race 9:21.80.  Finishing third behind Philomath’s Mateo Canadonza and Sisters Hayden Roth in the process.  What’s weird.  He did it in just his third race ever running the event as well as he paced the Warrior’s Canadonza and Roth up front for much of Saturday’s race.

“That was the game plan, following Mateo.  I saw on the leaderboard that he was ahead of me and fifth-place (Roth) came out of nowhere, he dominated both of us.  But no, that was a great race and that was the whole gameplan, following Mateo and if I got the gas to go out the last 100, but kudos to Mateo, he’s one heck of an athlete,” Cruz said.  “I know I’m capable of doing it, it was  a matter of if i was able to do it today.  I wasn’t able to prepare as I wanted today, but definitely next time.”

“Breaking (the record), I don’t know 50-years after, it’s great.  Keep practicing, it’s all about discipline and I do have that, it’s my first season doing the 3K…so doing this accomplishment is nice to see.”

Across the way, finishing up for the day was Hallee Hughes.  The senior thrower was packing up her stuff, including her knee brace she’s been supporting since tearing her PCL during basketball season.  But despite the bulk brace on her leg, the Bulldog and University of Nevada-Reno Track-Commit still brought home wins in the discus and Javelin Saturday to close out the Meet of Champions.

“It definitely made me more aware of my body.  I’ve been going to PT, they’re saying my ankles are weak and that’s affecting my knees.  This year has been pretty fun this year to be able to compete with an injury,” Hughes describes.  “I definitely need to work more on my technique.  I’ve been going to Javelin practices outside of school and I need to be working more on technique and strengthening the parts that I don’t normally strengthen, including my ankles, knees and tendons because I keep injuring my tendons.”

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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