Author: Larissa Saco
Jonathan Padron (first-year) ran the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.65 seconds on Saturday, March 26 at the Cal Nevada Championships, earning him the fifth spot on Occidental’s Tiger Track & Field All-Time List.
The All-Time List is a list of athletes throughout Occidental’s history who have earned the best scores in all categories of track and field. Beating his personal record of 10.80 seconds by 0.15 seconds earned him a spot on the coveted list. Padron came in second to a runner from Cal State Northridge, who had a time of 10.55 seconds, out of nine total runners.
Padron started running in the fifth grade and continued to run for his school teams. Throughout his four years at Damien Memorial High School he ran the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the 400 by 100 meter relay for the varsity team. He currently runs in all three of these events at Occidental.
Padron’s career at Occidental began with a call at the beginning of his senior year from Tyler Yamaguchi, a fellow Hawaiian native and assistant track and field coach. Yamaguchi was interested in recruiting Padron to be on the college’s team the following year. “He said that he would do everything in his power to get me into Oxy. As long as I kept up my grades I would be fine,” Padron said.
That year he applied to Occidental and received his acceptance letter in late March, as well as a congratulatory call from his future coach. “He asked me what I was going to do, and I said that I would go to Oxy and run track and field,” Padron said.
Alongside Yamaguchi, Padron’s teammates have contributed to his success this season. “My coach really believes that I can achieve high marks, and he’s really pushing me to do the best I can,” Padron said.
His teammates were particularly amazed by his record-setting time. “Some of them were surprised since not a lot people have run that fast at Oxy for a long time,” Padron said. He is the first addition to the 100-meter dash list since Kamron Jones made the list with a time of 10.72 seconds in 2002. For Padron, there is more to track and field than winning meets and earning great scores. “I love going to the track meets and meeting new people. I also enjoy running against people who are faster than me because they help me improve,” he said.
Although Padron is excited to be added to the list, he hopes to achieve the number one spot in the 100-meter dash category in the future. “It felt good to get on the board, but I’m still on the middle of the board,” he said. In addition to earning the number one spot for the 100-meter, he would also like to make the list for the 200-meter dash and the 400 by 100 meter relay. “I strive to be at the top, I don’t want to be satisfied where I’m at,” Padron said.
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