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San Antonio, TX

March 4, 2019 | Blake Cochran


The Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) Lions Track teams made the trek down to San Antonio this weekend to compete in the Trinity Open for their second meet of the outdoor season. The field was the most competitive in the history of the meet, and the Lions stepped up to the challenge. 
On the women's side, Caitlin Cruz, (LaPorte, TX), took her second crack at the steeplechase shaving off over a minute and a half from the windy Hardin-Simmons University meet with the time of 14:05.3 which is a new SAGU record. She also competed in the 5K later in the day and set a personal best with the time of 22:12.9. Ayla Pope (Fr.) also attempted two new events in the 1500m and 800m. Pope finished the 1500m in 16th place with the time of 5:41 and 15th in the 800m with a 2:44. Head Coach Jason Covarrubias on ladies performances, "I am extremely proud of how hard these ladies competed this weekend. Caitlin is attempting one of the most difficult events in track (steeplechase) and she is improving by the day. I think we have found her event! Ayla's work ethic has allowed us to stretch her from a high school sprinter and move her into mid-distance races. It is always tough to learn during competitions, but she is a grinder and her potential showed today."
The men had a solid showing across the board and were led by freshman Zackary Hammond who set two school records and qualified in both events for the NCCAA National Championships in early May. Hammond took the 3000SC (Steeplechase) title with the time of 9:51.47, and finished at the runner-up spot in the 5K with the time of 15:20.63. 

*Cody Walker started off where he left last season off in the 1500m and 800m. Walker who took 7th place just missing the NCCAA National Championship Standard in the 1500m (4:08.69) with the time of 4:08.69. He later doubled in the 800m, placing 6th with the time of 2:01.57. 
*David Burciaga shaved nearly 40 seconds off of his time from last week in the steeplechase with the time of 11:50.78. 
*Senior Adrian Cedillo ran a 10:31.09 and took 5th place in the steeplechase. 
*Arturo Valdez (Fr.) won his heat in the 800m and finished 9th overall with the time of 2:03.16.

Coach Covarrubias' thoughts on the weekend, "The men impressed me, the times that they all posted were remarkable considering how early we are in the season but most importantly in our training progression. If they are hitting these times now, we are in for one of the best seasons in program history! Zack looked smooth today, Cody looked strong, Adrian is coming too, Art and David are on the brink of a breakthrough. These are exciting times and are the kind of results we expect to see from hard work." 

The men will travel for a 4x800m Relay to the Jet Relays in Fort Worth on Saturday, March 9th. Both full teams will compete on Saturday, March 22nd at Emporia State University in Kansas.


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 www.sagu.edu

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