March 11, 2019 | Blake Cochran
On Saturday, March 9th, one day into Spring Break, four members of the SAGU Lions Track Team competed in the 4x800m Relay at the Jet Relays in Fort Worth, TX. The meet was hosted by the legendary Hallmark Track Club and featured over forty universities and colleges from the NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III, and several from the NAIA level.
SAGU's 4x800m team consisted of a junior and three freshman this was the third time in program history that a team competed in this rare event. The relay was started off by Arturo Valdez (Fr.), who is currently ranked 6th in both the 800m and 1500m runs in the NCCAA. Valdez handed off to Zackery Hammond (Fr.), ranked 3rd in the NAIA in the 5,000m and 3000SC and 1st, respectively, in the NCCAA. Hammond passed the baton to David Burciaga (Fr.) who is ranked 3rd in the NCCAA for the 3000SC. Finally, Burciaga successfully transferred the baton to Cody Walker (Sr.), who anchored the team and is currently ranked 9th in the 1500m for NAIA and 1st in the NCCAA, and is the lone returning member of the 2017 4x800m squad that finished 10th at the NCCAA National Championship.
The team finished 4th place overall at the Jet Relays and was less than five seconds away from a podium appearance with a time of 8:31.46. The time earned the men's relay team a spot in the NCCAA National Outdoor Track Championships in Winona Lake, IN, this May, and currently hold the #1 ranking 4x800m time in the NCCAA.
The Lions Track team will remain idle for Spring Break and return to action at the Harding Invitational in Searcy, AR, on Saturday, March 23rd.