FRESNO, Calif. – Azusa Pacific entered this period as the favored to earn the PacWest for the very first time, and the Cougars not only proved that prediction to be proper, but they attained it in dominant manner on Saturday early morning at the PacWest Championships. All seven of the Cougars’ major seven finishers crossed the end line in the leading-11 in the 8K race. Azusa Pacific concluded with 25 points, which was 50 details much less than Biola, which positioned 2nd over-all.

“We have been hungry for this for about 365 times,” head coach Sean Smith claimed afterwards, referring to very last year’s next put finish. “We have labored seriously difficult, coaching difficult and racing tiny to prep for the convention meet up with. I am genuinely very pleased of them. We are constructing a society that is developing to be a contender at this stage and at the countrywide level as perfectly.”

The Cougars ended up led by a team of five runners that acquired All-PacWest Initial Team difference with their performances today, as Felix Perrier (24:57.7), Juan Diego Castro (24:36.7), Jared Wright (24:39.2), Nixon Korir (24:40.4) and Riley Burns (24:48.6) concluded consecutively at 3rd by way of seventh. Rounding out the Cougars’ team of 7 was Dider Sandoval (24:50.5), who concluded 9th, and Benjamin Sumner (24:53.5) placed 11th overall, with both runners earning All-PacWest 2nd Crew honors.

In addition to the group of seven scorers, Ezekiel Nyberg (25:10.7) and Michael Schneider (25:11.1) also garnered All-PacWest recognition for the Cougars, with the two earning Third Staff honors as Nyberg put 15th and Schneider was 16th.

As the ultimate outcomes showed, the Cougars ended up dominant owing in significant part to their pack mentality, method, and execution in the race. During the race, there was a consistent group of Cougars sticking collectively and becoming affected individual when required, and intense in moments in which they wanted to be. 

Yet another telling truth of the Cougars’ general performance right now was that if the team of 10 runners was break up in two, Azusa Pacific would have put 1st and second in the race. With Sandoval, Sumner, Nyberg, Schneider and Eric Perez’ (22nd – 25:27.6) performances by yourself, the Cougars would have nonetheless beat Biola by a point.

With their first PacWest title beneath their belt, the Cougars now turn their notice toward Regionals, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4 in Monmouth, Oregon. Azusa Pacific will be in the hunt for a major-3 complete to clinch an computerized bid to Nationals in Joplin, Missouri on Saturday, November 18. Azusa Pacific is currently rated next in the West area, and 10th nationally. This upcoming week, the USTFCCCA will launch current regional and nationwide rankings.