Cruz-Albrecht beats previous track records

Track record broken by OPHS student

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Junior Sylvia Cruz-Albrecht, has recently broken the county record for the girls ’ 1600 meter with a time of four minutes and 50.83 seconds, beating the old record of four minutes and 53.54 seconds, held by Anna Sperry of Simi Valley in 2007.

Cruz-Albrecht has participated in both track and cross country since her freshman year at Oak Park.

“Recently, I’ve reached personal records in both the 3200m and the 1600m,” Cruz-Albrecht wrote to the Talon. “I lowered my previous school record of 10:20 to 10:18, which is now the 7th best time in the nation and placed 3rd in the [Mt. SAC invitational] 3200m race.”

She currently holds the school record in the three main track distance events, including the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter runs.

“I love the challenging combination of endurance and speed in the 3200 meter. But it definitely took a few races before I was able to race at this level,” Cruz-Albrecht wrote. “For several races in a row, I would finish my 3200 meter in complete exhaustion and simply collapse. While it was tempting to move my focus to the 1600 meter, I’m glad that I was finally able to reach my goals in the 3200 meter.”

Cruz-Albrecht won both the 1600 and 800 meter races at the Ventura County Championships April 27.

“Leading up to my race, we did a lot of 400m pace work. Also, a couple of weeks before, I ran a 4:52 mile at Camarillo, so I was familiar with the pace that I needed to run at,” Cruz-Albrecht wrote. “I remained focused on lap three, as this is where I often slow down. In my final lap, I gave everything I had left, letting the energy of the meet and the goal in my mind carry me to the finish.”

Cruz-Albrecht’s passion for the sport has developed over her six seasons of running experience and is a major component in her motivation to improve.

“I think my greatest motivation comes from my love for the sport. Since joining cross country freshman year, I have learned a love for running that won’t be easily unlearned,” Cruz-Albrecht wrote. “I love pushing my limits in races and seeing my improvements.”

According to Cruz-Albrecht, although remaining involved in school sports while maintaining focus on academics can be difficult, participation is also highly rewarding.

“It’s definitely challenging to manage track and cross country with classes, sometimes I wish I could just go straight home and get my work done, but after practice I always feel refreshed and accomplished,” Cruz-Albrecht wrote.

Before joining Oak Park’s track and cross country teams, she had no prior running experience outside of physical education.

“Even though I was naturally fast, I didn’t like running before I came to Oak Park, and I didn’t want to do cross country just because I was good at it or because others expected me to,” Cruz-Albrecht wrote. “But when I came out for the summer morning runs, I found that I loved the team, the atmosphere and the sport.”

 

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