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Waxahachie, Texas- May 25, 2016- For the first time in Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) track and field history, two runners will be making an appearance in the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships . Destiny Garza and Jerry Nava have both qualified for the marathon.

Neither Garza nor Nava have run a full marathon (26.2 miles).  They both qualified after running a half marathon, “This is uncharted territory for both but that doesn’t make them unqualified for this event,” explains coach Jason Covarrubias, “They have been putting over 50-60 miles per week on their legs all season long, now it’s time to trust it.”

Destiny Garza is SAGU’s star cross country athlete.  Garza was the first recruit to commit to SAGU and she is making a name for herself on the national scale.  Earlier in May, Garza won first place in the NCCAA National Championship while running the 10k.  Garza is entering the NAIA marathon with the fastest qualifying time in the nation and is hoping to expand her national gold medal count.

We asked Garza a few questions to get a peek at her life as an athlete.   You might be surprised by her pre-race meal and what she listens to while running.

What is your major?
Business administration

What is your dream job?
My dream job would be to work for an oil company. I’d like to work my way up in the business.

Favorite memory athletically?
My favorite memory athletically would probably be my most recent win at  NCCAA Nationals for the 10k. My coach didn’t know this but I really doubted myself before this race. I even thought to myself that I couldn’t even be in the top three, but once the race started I told myself “I trained hard for this race and I want to be all American”.

Biggest role model in your life and why?
My biggest role models would have to be my parents. They both have shown me how to work hard and to always keep striving to be better. They support me in everything I do, especially in running because they know it’s my passion

Favorite song(s) to listen to while training?
I don’t listen to music while running because when I train I like it to be peaceful, that way I have time to focus

Any prerace rituals?  How about post-race?  Anything in particular you eat?
Prerace rituals? Hmm…I always pray and go to a quiet place to give myself a pep talk
Post race?  I definitely cool down for 1-2 miles and while doing that I always talk to God and give him thanks even if it’s a bad race because not everyone has the health or legs to run and I’m always thankful that I do. Stuff I eat prerace is not anything crazy and it definitely isn’t pasta like most runners. I tend to get worried about cramps for my race so I stick to my sweet potatoes and vegetables. But now post race? I usually treat myself and have pizza or something out of my usual eats.

How many miles have you ran this past school year?
From the looks of my watch- about 1200 miles

Favorite Coach Covarrubias saying?
“Let’s eat!” At the end of every race I always hear coach yell it to us and it always makes me chuckle

What is your favorite thing about SAGU?
It’s a small school and pretty quiet.

Looking towards the future, what is your biggest goal athletically?
To go further in running and be able to travel while doing it.

Anything else you think we should know?
I sure am excited for the marathon because it’s about to test my mental strength!!

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, [email protected]

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