PNW Pioneer

Record-holding athlete Cordova becomes PNW’s first Wooden Cup semifinalist

Sal Cordova, senior crosscountry
runner, holds the
8-kilometer school record for
the team.

Sal Cordova, senior crosscountry runner, holds the 8-kilometer school record for the team.

Photo provided

Photo provided

Sal Cordova, senior crosscountry runner, holds the 8-kilometer school record for the team.

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Sal Cordova, senior cross-country runner, was recently named PNW’s first semifinalist for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup.

Athletes nominated for the Wooden Cup must show strong character and leadership, both on and off the field. Cordova said the athletes nominated go the extra mile to help others. Cordova was one of two cross-country runners nominated out of the 25 semifinalists.

The work Cordova did off the field consisted of volunteering 40 hours each summer with the City of Hammond as a part of its College Bound scholarship program. He also organized a Handprints for Hope event to raise sexual assault awareness on campus.

Cordova said he does these activities because they make him and others happy.

“I think that running cross-country, improving myself in school and volunteering give me purpose,” Cordova said.

Austin Warner, men’s cross-country head coach, said being a student-athlete is a lot of work and requires time management skills.

Cordova was the second cross-country runner in the history of the program to qualify for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship in 2016, following after his cousin, Alex Cordova, who participated in the 2015 national championship. He also holds the 8-kilometer school record for the team. He is currently the vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at PNW.

Cordova, mathematics major, is expected to graduate in May 2018. In the near future, Cordova is considering going to graduate school, but in the long-run he would like to help others like himself.

“I want to help student-athletes get the same opportunities that I felt I had,” Cordova said.

Cordova said he would like to teach other student-athletes about creating a resume and emailing professors to build relationships for future success.

Now, with Cordova graduating, the team hopes to build upon the foundation and leadership he helped create.

“Sal Cordova embodies the meaning of the Wooden Cup,” Warner said. “No matter what he does after he graduates in May he’ll be successful at.”

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