The SAGU Cross Country and Track teams hosted the first-ever SAGU Half Marathon on Saturday, February 4, 2017. The event had over 80 registered runners with 24 college competitors in search of a NAIA qualifying time. In addition to SAGU, John Brown University, Wayland Baptist, Texas Wesleyan and Central Christian were also present.
The SAGU track and field team qualified three runners for the upcoming NAIA Marathon National Championship in May 2017. Reigning NAIA Marathon Champion Destiny Garza along with Jerry Nava and freshman Robert Herrera were all NAIA A-standard qualifiers, meaning the men beat the mark of 1:13:30 and that Garza beat the qualifying mark of 1:30:00.
Nava, a 2016 national marathon qualifier, was the Overall Male Champion with a time of 1:12:06. Robert Herrera finished second overall with a time of 1:12:57. Garza was the Overall Female Champion with the time of 1:22:57.
Head Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach, Jason Covarrubias said, “The route was exceptionally fast this morning and I am so proud of my runners. I've always told them that we must continue to build and by going from two to three national qualifiers, we did just that.”
In addition to the three qualified SAGU runners, six other college athletes qualified for the NAIA Marathon National Championship. There were three male A-list, one male B-list, three female A-list and two girl B-list qualifiers.
Sponsors for the half marathon included Baylor Scott & White of Waxahachie, Waxahachie Convention & Visitors Bureau, John Houston Custom Homes, Waxahachie YMCA, Franco Graphics, Compton Time and Measure and Paul Box with Edward Jones.
The SAGU Half Marathon will be a yearly tradition with the next half-marathon set for February 3, 2018. The 13.1 miles will be throughout the historic city of Waxahachie. It is open to everyone.