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Arlington, TX

March 25, 2019 | Blake Cochran

The Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) Lions Track teams competed locally at the University of Texas-Arlington for the first time in school history on Saturday, March 23rd. The women’s and men’s teams lined up against a field of 12 and 10 schools respectfully, with much of the competition being NCAA Division 1 and 2 . The Lady Lions finished in 10th place overall with seven points and second of the four NAIA teams. The Lions finished with 22 points which was good enough for 8th place and in second of the three NAIA teams. Head Coach Jason Covarrubias “This was a very competitive field for our young teams to compete in but the weather played a huge part in the last minute decision to come here rather than Searcy, AR . We had to get a meet in, and I am proud of how my young men and women competed today, despite the howling winds.”

The women’s team was highlighted by a couple of freshmen who set personal records (PR) in both of their events. Alyssa Holder (Maypearl, TX) competed in both the 100m and 200m dash and on the very windy afternoon ran a 13.37 and 27.78. These marks were milliseconds off the NCCAA National Championship standards (13.25 and 27.78), Holder is currently ranked 13th and 17th in the NCCAA. Ayla Pope’s PRs (Buffalo, MO) were in the 800m and 1500. Pope took off seconds in both races cutting her times down to 2:42.72 and 5:38.81. Coach Covarrubias on the ladies’ performances, “I am extremely proud of these women. They work hard every morning, and the effort has begun to transfer into racing. Keep an eye out for these ladies, they have something special working.”

The men were led by the team’s two NAIA National Outdoor Championship qualifiers, Zackery Hammond and Cody Walker . Hammond and Walker competed neck-and-neck throughout the race in the 3000SC propelling them to a 2nd and 3rd place finish. Hammond finished with a 9:58.00 time and Walker crossed just after at the 9:59.77 mark which qualified him to the NCCAA National Outdoor Championships. Walker finished as an All-American in 3rd place at the 2018 NCCAA Championships in the 3000SC. Hammond and Walker are currently ranked 1st and 2nd in the NCCAA. “All of the men competed well, and every one of them are working hard to hit the qualifying marks but today the weather didn’t allow for that. We just have to prepare for the moment that everything lines up. I am happy for Cody, he deserves everything that he gets because of his work ethic. That steeplechase at nationals is going to be a fun race to watch!”

Walker (3000SC) and Hammond (5000m) will compete Friday evening, Mar. 29th, at the Texas State Bobcat Invitational in San Marcos, TX . The team will return to action on Friday and Saturday, April 12th and 13th in the East Texas Invite hosted by Texas A&M Commerce .

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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