Agrippina Dela Cruz
Agrippina Dela Cruz The Hurdle Queen
Born November 7, 1960. Agrippina hailing from Buer, Aguilar, Pangasinan. She was discovered by her school principal Mr. Andres Nava. And began Athletics at age 13.
Her first meet locally was in Pangasinan where she won the 100 and 400 Hurdles. She then went on to participate in these same events at the National Open in Lingayen. And her first international meet was in Jakarta.
During the 1970s the top Female Sprinters were Lucila Tolentino and Nanette Lusterio, At this time another Junior was emerging. The Philippines in 1977 had no medal in the 100 Hurdles and it was even worse in the 400 Hurdles with Myrna Ayo and Racquel Butao coming in near the back at the SEA Games. Tolentino did snag bronze in the now-defunct 200 Hurdles event.
Agrippina won the Secondary Girls Palarong Pambansa in 1978 in Cagayan De Oro 100 Hurdles in 16.5 but took silver in the 400 Hurdles behind Anita Chicano in 1.08.0. But was not selected in the 1979 ASEAN School Games to Singapore.
While not selected in the school meet Dela Cruz was called up for duty in the 1979 SEA Games her first international meet in which she took a bronze in the 400 Hurdles in a time of 63.13. She was not entered in the 100 Hurdles. She was also a member of the 4×400 which finished 5th.
As the 1970s roared to an end and all the great Filipino Women Hurdlers retiring. The stage was set for Agrippina.
In 1981 Agrippina was not able to retain a medal in 400 Hurdles finishing 4th, but in the 100 Hurdles clocked 14.58 to take the silver.
In 1982 she Joined Gintong Alay she was coached most of her career by Magnos Santo Jr., with considerable assistance from Australian coach Tony Benson.
Dela Cruz in assistance with the Gintong Alay program would go on to win 3 consecutive SEA Games titles in the 100 Hurdles 1983, 1985 and 1987. She also won two more golds in the 1983 and 1985 SEA Games bringing her total to 5 SEA Golds in her career.
She even won the 1983 Victorian Championships in Melbourne Australia clocking 14.87.
She took bronze in the Women’s 400 Hurdles in 63.48, behind Debbie Flintoff of Australia. Flintoff-King went onto become the 400 Hurdles Olympic Champion in Seoul in 1988.
Her Personal Best times both sets in 1985 of 14.09 and 59.29 at the SEA Games were then Philippine Records until they were later shattered by Elma Muros Posadas.
In 1987 she would win her third SEA Games title in 100 Hurdles. But placed 2nd in the 400 Hurdles.
The 5’5 Hurdler highlight was competing at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul where she timed 14.36 and 1.02.70 placing 6th and 7th in her heat and failed to advance past the heats. After the Seoul Olympics at 28 she retired. Later migrating to the United States.
Andrew is an ATFS Statiscian in Athletics with a wide range of knowledge in measurable sports. He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And is current editor and chief of Pinoyathletics.info, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program. Currently, he is coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is working towards his Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles.
He can be contacted on [email protected]