Pardo has successful first year in cross county

By Joel Charron

Matt Pardo has made quite the name for himself in his first year at General Amherst High School.

The Grade 9 cross-country enthusiast ran his way to a third place finish at the WECSSAA/SWOSSA meet in Sarnia and another third place showing at OFSAA held in Ottawa.

This year, the WECSSAA and SWOSSA meets were held together because of inclement weather.

According to Pardo his showing at the combined meet, in his opinion wasn’t his best race.

“I didn’t run a very good race,” said Pardo.

Pardo said it was because he peaked too soon.

“When SWOSSA came around I was coming down from my mileage. I was doing a lot of mileage a week and just before the meet we dropped our mileage,” he explained. “When you are on the downfall that’s when you don’t have very good races.”

Pardo ran the 4,800-meter Sarnia course in 17:39:05. Prado placed third in the race but

General Amherst Grade 9 student Matt Pardo placed third at WECSSAA/SWOSSAA and third at OFSSA and according to him, he’s not built as a cross country runner.

because one of the kids who finished before him was part of a team, Pardo qualified as a second place individual.

Although Pardo felt he didn’t have his best race, he still qualified for OFSSA, following in the footsteps of great Amherst cross country runner, Meghan Marton and Brandon Allen.

“It’s really cool to be a part of something this great,” said Prado about his accomplishment.

With his showing at WECSSAA/SWOSSA behind him, Pardo flourished in Ottawa at the OFSSA meet.

“I had a great race,” boosted Pardo. “I was really happy with my performance.”

Pardo said the hilly Ottawa course suited his running style rather than the flat, open course in Sarnia.

“For some reason when I run through a forest I run better,” he said. “It’s all a mentally thing.”

Pardo placed third and ran the course in 17:37:06, nearly two second faster than his WECSSAA/SWOSSA time.

“The course was 400 meters longer and a lot harder,” he said.

Pardo said it’s a great feeling to know that he placed third in the province, especially when he is not really suited for cross-country.

Pardo, who also runs track said he’s more of a 400m, 800m and 1,500m runner.

“I’m not built like a cross country runner,” he said. “Cross country runners are smaller and leaner. I’m not built like that, I’m just different than everyone else.”

Pardo contributed his break out year to training with Amherst cross-country stalwart Brandon Allen.

‘We started training together in August,” said Pardo. “We train very well together. He has a lot of experience and he’s always giving me tips. It’s really good to have that.”

With the cross-country season behind him, Pardo is now focused on the track season, something Pardo is chomping at the bit for.

“A lot of the 800m and 1,500m guys run cross country and I’ve raced a lot of them,” explained Pardo. “There were a few of them that kept up with me.  I’m really excited to see what happens during the track season.”



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