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Waxahachie, Texas- May 26, 2016- Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) track and field star Jerry Nava will be joining Destiny Garza in making the school’s first appearance in the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  Both Nava and Garza will be running in the marathon event on Saturday, May 28, 2016. 

Saturday will be the first time Nava has run a full 26.2 miles, but Coach Jason Covarrubias doesn’t feel that is an issue, “Regardless of how Saturday goes, I am still amazed how far both of these kids have come. Training works if only the training is done but when training is done with exactness I’d advise you to look out!” 

Nava started at SAGU on the men’s soccer team.  He has only been a part of the track and field team for two years.  “Jerry works hard,” explains Covarrubias, “He grinds every day, yes seven days a week, for the past two years for this moment.  It is uncharted territory for both but that doesn’t make them unqualified for this event.”

Before Nava left for the race, we took some time getting to know the converted soccer player.

What is your major?
Human resource management 

What is your dream job?
My dream job is to be in some sort of management position for a professional sports team.

You transitioned from a soccer player to a cross country athlete?  What made you want to do that and what has been the most difficult part?
Yes I did. I just felt cross country was giving me more opportunities to grow as an athlete.  The most difficult part would have to be the training because there’s so much more self-training and I had to really learn to be self-discipline in my training.

Favorite memory athletically?
My favorite memory would have to be that first day I switched from soccer to cross country and we qualified for nationals in my first race. 

Biggest role model in your life and why?
My biggest role model would have to be Pharrell Williams. He's an innovator and he strives to be different not only in music but also in fashion. He's inspired me to be different and stray away from following trends but make my own. Really being a leader.

Favorite song(s) to listen to while training?
I don't really listen to music while training but I have been bumping a lot of Ariana Grande before races.

Any prerace rituals?  How about post-race?  Anything in particular you eat?
 I listen to some music before the race but mainly just in warm up I always have to get a mile in. I always eat something like pasta the night before to carb load. 

How many miles have you ran this past school year?  
I have no idea I just know way too many!

Favorite Coach Covarrubias saying?
My favorite coach saying what have to be "let's eat" as he starts doing James Harden signature cook and stir the pot celebration.

What is your favorite thing about SAGU?
 My favorite thing is the community. Everyone here is really like family and they want to be involved with your life.  They are also very encouraging when it comes to sports and school, also in your spiritual life

Looking towards the future, what is your biggest goal athletically?
I would like to be named All-American.  I know it's not going to be easy so I'll have to start training through-out the whole year and that means getting some mileage in during the summertime. 

Both Garza and Nava will run the marathon at 6:00am on Saturday, May 28, 2016.  The NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships will be held at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 26 – 28. The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Sports Commission, in partnership with the city of Gulf Shores, are the hosts for the third-consecutive year.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.
Contact: Natalie Tristan, SAGU SID,
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