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Abilene, TX

May 1, 2019 | Blake Cochran

The Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) track teams headed out west for the Oliver Jackson Twilight Meet hosted by Abilene Christian University . This meet was the final meet of the regular season and a tune-up for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championships . The Lions took their full squad but entered most of the roster in only one race due to the twilight meet schedule.

On the women’s side, there was quite a bit of improvement across the board. Alexandria Castillo, Ayla Pope, and Caitlin Cruz all improved in the 800m as they prepare for the program’s first 4x800m at the NCCAA National Championship. Castillo improved by 14 seconds (2:41.92) placing 14th, Pope improved by nearly a second after a double in the 400m (2:42.23) placing 15th, and Cruz set a 3-second personal record (2:51.99) placing 18th. Freshman sprinter, Alyssa Holder , also had a great day as she qualified for the NCCAA in the 100m and set a new school record in the 200m.  Holder became the second sprinter in recent years to hit the 13.25 standard with a 13.18, with her time was just .05 off of the school record. Later in the day, she did break the 200m record of 27.43 with the time of 27.30.

The men’s squad was sparked by Arturo Valdez’s 400m performance, which created a run of PRs by David Burciaga and Blake Hutchins in the 800m. Valdez made an impression in his 400m college debut with the time of 53.21 and broke the 3-year old school record. Valdez turned around and just missed matching his personal record by .01 in the 800m with the time of 2:00.38. Freshmen, Burciaga and Hutchins, shaved seconds off of their personal bests with the times of 2:11.32 and 2:23.08. Burciaga improved by over 6 seconds and Hutchins by 10 seconds.

Head Coach Jason Covarrubias on the team’s final performance of the season, “I am so proud of this team! They have come a long way all season and today was a glimpse of where we are going as a program. I am looking forward to the NCCAAs in a couple of weeks, to see them all perform at the largest stage!”

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 ww

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