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Dallas, TX

December 11, 2018 | Blake Cochran

Several members of the Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) men’s track team kicked off their outdoor track season with a half marathon at the 48th running of the BMW Dallas Marathon . Four lions faced the brisk morning temps, 10-15 mph winds, the daunting 13.1 trek through Downtown Dallas, but most importantly the NAIA National qualifying standard. Competing for the second time at the event were Adrian Cedillo (Sr.) and Cody Walker (Jr.) and making their half marathon debut were freshman Zachary Hammond and Arturo Valdez .

All four gentlemen were aiming for the NAIA A Standard (automatic qualifier) of 1:13:30, but would be content with a 1:15:00 (B Standard mark) and earning the right to compete in the marathon (26.2) at the NAIA Outdoor Track National Championships next May. Head Track Coach Jason Covarrubias spoke about the opportunity prior to the race, “For the past three seasons, our program has transformed into a true long-distance school. Over that time, we have had eight competitors in the marathon at nationals and one of which won the whole thing. “Within those eight competitors, two were toeing the line once again at the Dallas City Call for a shot at nationals, Cedillo and Walker.

The fierce four were led by freshman phenom, Zackary Hammond who demolished the SAGU school record, set a year ago by Robert Herrera , with the time of 1:11:10 and a 4th overall finish. He was followed by Adrian Cedillo in 8th place with the time of 1:13:50. Walker stepped across the finish line at 1:14:22 (11th place) and rounding out the men was Arturo Valdez in 26th place with the time of 1:19:16. Covarrubias exclaimed, “These men absolutely crushed the field of 6,000 competitors! We took first and fifth in the 0-19 age group and both 2nd and 3rd in the 20-24 age division, but most importantly Zack hit the A Standard along with Adrian and Cody securing the B Standard! I am extremely proud of all four of these men!”

The entire men’s and women’s track team will compete on Saturday, Feb. 2nd in the 3rd Annual SAGU Half Marathon held in Waxahachie, TX .

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

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