BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — Saint Joseph Academy (SJA) junior Pedro Cardenas impressed all season, earning all-state honors in both cross country and soccer.
On April 30, Cardenas hopes to earn another all-state honor in Track and Field, when he competes at the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) State Meet.
“This really has been a breakout season for Pedro,” said SJA track coach Louie Tijerina. “It’s just awesome to see him develop and become the greatest distance runner in Saint Joseph Academy History.”
Coach Tijerina would know all about SJA history. Up until this season, Tijerina held a school record himself.
Then Pedro Cardenas came along.
- 800: 1:58:10
- 1600: 4:23:77
- 3200: 9:37:75
“It’s funny, and it’s also really cool,” Cardenas said. “Sometimes we joke around saying that I’m better than [Coach Louie] now, but I couldn’t have done it without him or my teammates.”
In one meet, Cardenas broke the all-time school records for the 3200, 1600 and 800-meter races. Projected to finish top-four in each event at the state competition, Cardenas looks forward to adding a third all-state recognition to his resume this season. Coach Tijerina remembers when competing in all three events wasn’t even possible.
“Back in my day, which wasn’t that long ago… You weren’t allowed to do the two-mile, the mile and the 800,” Tijerina explained. “They said for distance runners you’re only allowed to do two of the three events.”
Cardenas not only competes, but he also dominates.
At the Brownsville ISD City Meet, Cardenas swept each event, finishing first place in all three races. He also finished first in the 3200 and 1600 meter races at district, adding a second-place finish in the 800-meter race.
Cardenas will compete as just one of two TAPPS runners in the state to qualify for all three races. He takes the track Friday, at Panther Stadium just outside of Waco, Texas.