Garcia earns conference honors

Alejandro Garcia, graduate student of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, became CSC’s first male cross country runner to earn First-Team All-RMAC honors at the RMAC Cross Country Championships Saturday in Spearfish, South Dakota. Garcia covered the 8k course in 25 minutes 53 seconds for 11th of 126 competitors. First-Team honors are given to the first 14 runners to cross the finish line.
Health and Physical Education major Garcia also earned his third Summit Award with a 4.0 GPA. The Summit Award is presented to the student-athlete that has competed for two years and is an active member of the team competing at the RMAC Championships with the highest GPA.
Dylan Stansbury, senior of Crawford, earned Second-Team All-RMAC honors completing the course in 26:16 for 27th place. Competitors finishing 15th place to 28th place receive Second-Team honors.
Other Eagles whose places counted toward the team score were Eric Yager, junior of Hot Springs, South Dakota, crossing the line at 26:37 for 31st, followed by Levi Avila, junior of Mitchell, in 27:43 for 59th, and Riley Howard, freshman of Anchorage, Alaska, 67th, in 28:04.
The Eagles have climbed up the polls at the RMAC Championships in recent years placing 11th of 13 in 2013, ninth of 15 in 2014, 10th of 15 in 2015, and fifth place of 15 teams Saturday.
Cross Country Coaching Assistant Sarah Townsend complimented Head Coach Brian Medigovich’s coaching style and success with the program.
“Med is a great coach,” Townsend said. “He has only been coaching the team for four years and has brought them from being one of the worst teams in the conference to being in the top five in one of the most competitive distance conferences in the nation. Talk about turning a program around.”
Margaret Vinton, senior of North Platte, led the women’s team Saturday completing the 6k course in 24:56 earning 52nd of 116 runners. Kiya Passero, freshman of Chadron, was the second Eagle to cross the line in 60th, 22 seconds behind Vinton.
The women’s team finished 12th of 15 teams Saturday.
Metropolitan State University of Denver will host the NCAA D-II South Central Regional Cross Country Meet Nov. 5 at Washington Park in Denver. The top five teams at the South Central Regional Meet will qualify for the NCAA D-II National Cross Country Championships on Nov. 19 in Saint Leo, Florida. CSC men are ranked sixth going into the meet. The top three individuals that are not on a qualifying team will also qualify for the national championships.
Medigovich said the men have never been ranked in the region before and the men’s sixth place ranking is the highest out of both the men’s and women’s teams all-time regional rankings.
“Conditions will need to be ideal for the men’s team,” he said. “We will have to beat a team that is slightly better than us, but if we do, we go to nationals.”

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