Led by Hillhouse, Beimler and Campos, Lions shine
Team heads to Ohio for NCCAA Nationals next Saturday
SHAWNEE, Oklahoma -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s Cross Country team finished sixth in Saturday’s Sooner Athletic Conference Championship.
It was another highlight accomplishment for a developing program in its first season. Earlier this fall the Lions won a multi-team meet.
Edging out a veteran program like Texas Wesleyan University was another. With a roster completely comprised of freshmen only adds to their inaugural campaign.
Head Coach Jason Covarrubias will take the team to Dayton, Ohio next weekend for the National Christian College Athletic Association Nationals. Both the SAGU men’s and women’s teams have qualified.
The NCCAA field is made up of teams from the NAIA, NCAA Division 2 and D3.
The SAC Championship was held on the grounds of the Gordon Cooper Technology Center, the Lions represented themselves very well. The setting inspired a pair of runners to higher finishes.
Freshman John “BJ” Hillhouse (Brookshire, Tx / Royal HS) finished the 8K (5 mile) race with a time of 27:50.70.
It was 30th in the field and was the first time anyone other than Jose Campos (Luling, Tx / Luling HS) had finished first for SAGU.
His time was just three minutes and four seconds behind the meet’s winner, Oklahoma Baptist University’s Adam Godwin, who was clocked at 24:44.00.
The 5’10 Hillhouse had ended three previous races second to Campos.
Just 25 seconds later, Brad Beimler (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) crossed the line at 28:15.00. Beimler’s best finish had been third, each time after Campos.
An Army reservist, he hasn’t been able to run every meet. In fact, he will trade next weekend’s NCCAA Nationals for serving his country.
After four more runners finished, SAGU’s Jose Campos took 39th at 28:40.00.
Three more purple harriers were clocked with times worthy of placing and points.
Juan Rubio (Rockdale, Tx / Rockdale HS) was 45th at 28:46.00 six seconds after Campos.
Nathaniel Gonzales (Dilley, Tx / Dilley HS) and 6’5 Luke Flattery (Springfield, Mo / Central HS) posted times of 31:34.00 and 32:36.00 respectively.
The NAIA’s No. 5 ranked team, Oklahoma City University, won their first SAC championship, finishing 15 points ahead of No. 12 Oklahoma Baptist.
OKCU had runners finish in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 13th and 21st.
OBU had their team place in 1st, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 16th and 19th.
St. Gregory’s University (Ok) was third, Wayland Baptist University (Tex) fourth and John Brown University (Ark) took fifth.
SAGU’s collaborative effort completed their initial SAC championship in sixth place, in front of Wesleyan.
There are eleven members in the Sooner, which has collectively won 84 national championships.
The NAIA’s National Championship takes place on November 23 in Lawrence, Kansas at the Rim Rock Farm.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at email@example.com or at 469-658-2847.
Final NAIA Top 25 Cross Country Poll: http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=209304693