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Shawnee, Oklahoma – November 5, 2016 – For the first time in school history, Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) cross country team will have two people representing them at the NAIA National Cross Country ChampionshipJerry Nava and Destiny Garza both qualified for nationals at the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) meet in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

“These two kids continue to impress me more and more,” says cross country coach Jason Covarrubias excitedly, “Destiny has been pushing through a tough season but has begun to peak at the right time! Being a back-to-back national qualifier is a huge accomplishment!”

Garza finished in seventh place in her 5K with a time of 18:29.65.  With her seventh place finish, Garza is an All-Conference pick as well as an NAIA qualifier.  Caitlin Cruz finished 45th at 22:37 and Genny McCullough was not far behind in 49th place with a time of 22:59.  Keila Padilla came in 52nd (23:37), Hannah Lee finished 62nd (27:07) and Hannah Dotson finished 63rd (27:18).

“The women ran great today.  We had a couple goals and met one of them.  I’m so proud of how hard they have worked all season and I am proud of each one of them,” says Covarrubias.

The SAGU men’s team had their best finish ever at a SAC meet, coming in 5th overall.  SAGU’s Jerry Nava is now an NAIA Qualifier and an All-Conference pick.  Nava finished 11th overall with a time of 26:11.78.

According to Covarrubias, making it to the Nationals is a goal Nava had set for himself, “Jerry has been working all season for this moment. He was on a mission this morning and not going to be denied a spot to nationals!  He deserves everything he gets and if Jerry continues to work; a lot is coming and it starts with being the first NAIA National Qualifier in school history.”

In addition to Nava’s 11th place finish, Adrian Cedillo finished 28th at 277:52, Cody Walker came in 33rd at 28:08, Jose Campos was 39th at 28:26 and Raul Olmos was 47th at 29:29.  Peter Castro finished 62nd (32:21), Brad Beimler came in 63rd at 31:25, Jenson Price was 73rd (37:10) and Cameron Solomon was 74th (37:20).

“The men ran their best race of the season. We knew going into the race that no one was looking at us to do much especially after our sub-par showing at the NAIA Mid-States Classic. I could not be more proud of these men finishing 5th in this tough conference.  We had a great season and our future is very bright,” says Covarrubias.

On Saturday, November 19, 2016, Nava and Garza will be competing at the NAIA National Championship in Elash, Illinois.  Over 600 runners will be competing for the ultimate prize in the NAIA.

About Sagu:
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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