CC runners place well in debut
Campos leads men with high finish
Lions qualify five for NCCAA Nationals
ABILENE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s new sport, Cross Country, are now a reality according to Head Coach Jason Covarrubias.
Announced last year by Athletic Director Jesse Godding, the men’s and women’s team began their inaugural campaign on Saturday.
Both suited up and competed in the Bill Libby Invitational, which was hosted by McMurry University.
“Well, the first meet is under our belt,” Covarrubias said afterwards. "I'm very proud of our teams and their effort. And we're only going to improve!"
The results were encouraging, though the men were minus one of their best runners. He was fulfilling his weekend commitment with the Army Reserve. The ladies sent a shorthanded unit.
The SAGU men placed sixth of the nine college teams in the field. They racked up 123 points, only eight points behind Lubbock Christian University (NCAA Division II) and trailed Abilene Christian University by just 17.
With an all-freshman cast, Jose Campos (Luling, Tx / Luling HS) was the Lions’ top finisher. His time in the 8K was 27:44, which was 15th overall.
John “B.J.” Hillhouse (Brookshire, Tx / Royal HS) and Juan Rubio (Rockdale, Tx / Rockdale HS) were on his heels. Their times were 28:24 and 28:41 respectively, good enough to place 25th and 27th.
Moments later it was Christian Yglecias (Cameron, Tx / C.H. Yoe) HS ending at 29:17 and Nate Gonzales (Dilley, Tx / Dilley HS) at 30:33. The Lions’ Top 5 included them at 34th and 42nd.
According to Coach Covarrubias, the team’s average time was three minutes faster than the qualifying mark set by the *NCCAA. It means they are all bound for the National Meet in Ohio on November 16.
The Lady Lions were not able to garner points due to the size of their squad. Still, three harriers finished for SAGU.
Freshman Kristen Herrington (Lufkin, Tx / Hudson HS) crossed the line at Nelson Park in 35th place in the 5K race. She was clocked at 21:26 was only five seconds shy of qualifying for the NCCAA.
Destiny Garza (Aldine, Tx / MacArthur HS), another freshman, came in 46th at 22:12 while sophomore Julie Alvarez (Carrollton, Tx / Creekview HS) had a victory all her own. The newcomer put the wraps on her first-ever 5K. She was timed at 25:17.
ON DECK: XC teams to run in Cowtown
The Cross Country teams’ next meet is local. On Saturday morning, September 21, they will participate in Fort Worth in the Texas Wesleyan Invitational.
The SAGU Sports Network will provide bonus coverage of the event, which will be broadcast by SAGU Sports Live. It could be the first-ever NAIA cross country meet aired in HD.
Covarrubias plans to have a full squad of Lady Lions suited up. Their goal is to qualify for the NCCAA’s.
*NCCAA - National Christian College Athletic Association (teams from the NAIA, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III).