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Just hours after breaking the course record at El Dorado Park, winning the first Moore League race of his senior season, Millikan superstar Jason Parra dropped a surprise announcement Tuesday night on Instagram.
Long Beach’s fastest high school distance runner made his college commitment public, announcing that he will be attending the University of Notre Dame next fall.
“To me, it was all about setting a new bar for myself, and just challenging myself in different aspects of my life,” said Parra on his decision to join the Fighting Irish. “I wanted to be challenged academically as well as athletically, and I know they have a really good team and a really good class going in … The team just stood out to me, it seemed like a really fun group of guys, and it was an amazing campus and an exciting place to be.”
Parra chose Notre Dame over a long list of suitors, including Oklahoma State, UCLA, Oregon, Wake Forest, Duke, and North Carolina. South Bend was Parra’s final stop on the recruiting trail, as he took his last official visit there at the end of August.
He said that his commitment may have come out of the blue, but Parra said he was thoughtful in making the decision and felt he learned a lot during the process.
“The recruiting process in itself was very fun actually,” Parra said. “I got to meet a lot of coaches, a lot of people in the running world, and I got to experience a lot of college campuses. I’ve seen a little bit of the college life and I think that’s something very important to see before you actually get into it … It was very stressful, but at the end of the day, I enjoyed every last bit of it.”
Parra said he plans to attend the business school at Notre Dame, but also has an interest in engineering–specifically aerospace engineering.
He’ll not only need to adjust to college life, he’ll also have to get used to the weather. Indiana tends to run a little colder than sunny Long Beach, but that’s a change he’s fully aware of, and the cold-weather training has already begun.
“This morning it was extremely foggy and super cold, and I hate running in the cold,” Parra admitted. “But I was like ‘You know what? I’m gonna go through it’ and it was a new experience for me and I definitely enjoyed it. I’m the type of person where if I need to do something, I’ll do it, so it didn’t really get into my head too much about the weather. I think it’s more of a challenge and it’s going to help me become a better person.”
Parra and his fellow Millikan Rams will be back in action on Tuesday, Oct. 10 for the second Moore League cluster meet of the season on Signal Hill. League finals are set for Nov. 1 when Parra will look to make history with his fourth individual title in as many years.