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Gulf Shores, AL

May 29, 2018 | Tiffany Phillips

Three members of the SAGU Men’s Track team competed at the NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Gulf Shores, Al.  Sophomore Captain Robert Herrera (Lyford, TX), sophomore Cody Walker (Princeton, TX) and junior Adrian Cedillo (Del Valle, TX) all competed in the marathon on Saturday, May 26th. The trio hit the qualifying mark for the marathon earlier this season at the BMW Dallas Half Marathon, where Walker finished 5th with the time of 1:12:54, Herrera 7th (1:33:22), and Cedillo 9th (1:13:59) out of the 7500 participants.

For Herrera, this was his second marathon as he competed in Gulf Shores at the 2017 championships, but for Cody and Adrian, this was their first attempt at the grueling 26.2 mile route. Historically, the temperatures at the 6:00 am start is 80 degrees with 100% humidity and three hours later had risen to over 90 degrees which makes for a tough finish.  Fortunately for all runners, the temps never got over 85 degrees but the humidity would play a huge factor at 100%.  The runners, many returners from last year’s marathon, took out slower than normal with hopes of finishing the course.  Last year, over 1/3 of the field dropped out of the race due to these temperatures.

Robert Herrera led all SAGU runners with an impressive time of 2:54:56, nearly a 10-minute improvement from last year’s race.  He finished in 18th place overall. Cody Walker competed very well through 23 miles and had to fight through fatigue for the final 5k, he finished in 36th with the time of 3:09:42. Adrian Cedillo also raced hard but battle with fatigue coming a bit earlier at mile 18, but managed to dig it out and finish. He crossed the line immediately after Walker in 37th place with the time of 3:09:56. Head Coach Jason Covarrubias said of his runners, “I am so proud of these guys.  You can never understand the pain of a marathon, especially at this high level, until you experience and today we as a program got better.  They fought through tough temps, regardless if they were better then previous years, it was still hot. I can honestly say, these men’s effort will be the cornerstone of the SAGU XC and Track program for years to come.” Covarrubias closed with saying, “That was fun, and time to bring on cross country!”

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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