Former Victoria College track star to promote autobiography at Jan. 26 event
Inocente Cantu
Inocente Cantu, right, stands with teammate Ronald Koss, left, and head coach Eddie Shinn as they pose in front of trophies the national champion Victoria College track and field team won in 1952.

A former Victoria College student who led the Pirates to a pair of national track and field championships and was an All-American cross country runner at The University of Texas at Austin will be at the Museum of the Coastal Bend on Thursday, Jan. 26 for a book signing to promote his autobiography.

Inocente “Ino” Cantu’s journey from being a child of a migrant worker to being inducted to the National Hispanic Sports Hall of Fame is detailed in “Finding My Road,” which is co-authored by Thomas Woltz.

“Finding My Road” took eight years to be compiled. Copies are available at and and will be sold at the event, which will be held from noon to 2 p.m.

“The book follows Ino’s life through many ups and downs as roadblocks get thrown in his way,” Woltz said. “The reader is guided through these temporary hurdles by a combination of faith and perseverance.”

Cantu, a native of El Campo, grew up picking cotton in the fields of Wharton County before Victoria College track and field coach Eddie Shinn offered him a scholarship to run at VC. Cantu went on to win the mile and 2-mile runs at the national meet in 1952 and led VC to another team title in 1953.

Cantu served two years in the U.S. Navy and taught Spanish for 16 years before acquiring his master’s degree from Prairie View A&M and beginning a 23-year career as an elementary school counselor in the Lamar Consolidated School District in Fort Bend County.

Cantu, 83, still competes nationally in track and field and set the world indoor record in the mile for the 80-84 age group in 2014 with a time of 6 minutes, 42.10 seconds. He will compete at the USA Track and Field Masters outdoor national meet on July 13-16 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Cantu’s journey also includes educational milestones. He was the first in his family to attend college. Cantu’s son, Hiram, attended Harvard and Yale and works as a finance director in New York City. His daughter, Sonia, obtained her PhD from Boston College.

The book signing is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The Museum of the Coastal Bend is located at 2200 E. Red River Street in Victoria.

For more information on the event, contact VC Communications Specialist Coy Slavik at (361) 572-6456 or

Inocente Cantu
“Finding My Road” details the journey of former Victoria College student Inocente Cantu rising from the son of a migrant worker to becoming a first-generation college graduate and record-holding track and field athlete.
Published: Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Pirate Portal


© 2017 Victoria College | 2200 E. Red River | Victoria, TX 77901 | (361) 573-3291 | (877) 843-4369