Sprinting to the finish: Cordova qualifies for cross-country nationals


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Salvador Corodova, junior math education major

Salvador Cordova, junior math education major, qualified Nov. 5 for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics cross-country national meet.

Cordova ran an 8-kilometer time of 26:41 at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference cross-country meet, placing 15th, and led the PNW cross-country team to a seventh place finish.

Nicole Hartford, interim head coach, said that Cordova’s performances throughout the season have showed that he is prepared to compete at the national level.

“It’s clear that Sal has been training hard to get to this level and was well-prepared for the CCAC Meet,” Hartford said.

The NAIA national meet will take place Nov. 19 at the North Farm cross-country course in Elsah, Illinois.

Hartford said that she and Cordova will preview the course and discuss a plan geared toward highlighting Cordova’s strengths as a runner.

“Great runners can run well on any type of course by addressing possible weaknesses and adjusting their race strategy,” Hartford said.

Hartford said that Cordova’s all-conference performance at the CCAC meet will give him an extra push heading into the NAIA national meet.

“I believe anytime a runner has a great race, it gives him more confidence going into the next race,” Hartford said. “He should be really fired up and proud of himself to reach this level of competition.”

Cordova recently lowered the PNW 8-kilometer cross-country record by seven seconds, from 26:17 to 26:10 at the Seminole Valley Stampede in Cedar rapids, Iowa on Oct. 22.

Cordova said that he is not training differently this year. Instead, he is focused on changing his attitude and remaining positive about reaching his goals.

“I have a lot of momentum and support from my team and coaches,” Cordova said. “My plan is just to continue listening to my coach and my teammates and run practice like normal.”

Cordova is the third athlete in PUC and PNC history to qualify for the NAIA National meet. The two athletes that previously qualified for NAIA cross-county nationals were Alex Cordova, senior biology major and Kyleigh Werner, sophomore nursing major. Both qualified in 2015.

Hartford said that Cordova’s NAIA qualification is a great achievement and hopes that the qualification isn’t putting extra pressure on Cordova.

“Training-wise, the hay is the barn,” Hartford said. “We’re just working on sharpening his speed and then we’ll taper back on total weekly mileage next week.”