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Joplin, MO

September 16, 2018 | Blake Cochran

The Men’s and Women’s cross country team competed in their second meet of the season at the nationally renowned Southern Stampede , hosted by Missouri Southern State University .

The young women’s team ran exceptional well on their pursuit to qualify for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) as an entire team for the first time since the standards (110:29) were introduced in 2015. Unfortunately, the ladies fell just a couple minutes but continue to close the margin. They ran a 112:19 and were led once again by three freshman– Alexandria Castillo, Ayla Pope and Alyssa Moore . The trio finished with three personal records (PR) with the respective time of 21:10, 21:59, and 22:53.

Head Coach Jason Covarrubias exclaimed, “I am extremely excited and proud of all seven of our women! They have worked so hard in practice and today it showed. We impressively had 6 of our 7 runners PR on one of the toughest courses in the country and by far the most difficult one they will see this season. I am excited to see the season play out, big things are coming for these ladies!”

The men stepped to the line with some stiff competition, there were 277 runners in the field of competitors. The Sooner Athletic Conference’s pre-season third ranked team had three in the top 20 and their fourth runner crossed at 22. They were led by Adrian Cedillo (Sr.) who was competing in his final Southern Stampede and Cedillo “Left His Mark” finishing 13th with the time of 27:00. He was followed by fellow Lions Cody Walker (19th), freshman Zackery Hammond (20th) and captain Robert Herrera (22nd).   Freshman Jose Alvarez (Lufkin, TX) rounded out in the Lions top 5 for the meet.

“The men really stepped up to the challenge today and solidified themselves in the conversation of nationally ranked teams in the NAIA. Although the times were not the greatest but that was because of the challenging course and how hot it was today. In my mind, times are irrelevant. If you compete to win that particular race, then eventually the times will raise eyes nationally, so we are just competing and know our times is coming. I am extremely happy for Adrian, one of the hardest working kids in the country! We did well today!  The real challenge will be next weekend at the Chile Pepper.”

The Men’s squad head to Fayetteville, Arkansas on Saturday, September 22nd to compete in the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival hosted by the University of Arkansas .

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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