Freshman Izak Velasquez qualified for the NAIA's marathon over the weekend
Freshman Izak Velasquez qualified for the NAIA's marathon over the weekend
Men's Outdoor Track & Field - Mon, Mar. 21, 2011

Cincinnati, Ohio - Saint Xavier University freshman and Cincinnati native Izak Velasquez (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) made the most of a trip back home by winning the prestigious Cincinnati Heart Fund Half Marathon Sunday with a time of 1:15:03 over the 13.1-mile course, which winded through parts of both Ohio and Kentucky. The time qualifies Velasquez for the 2011 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in the full marathon. Freshman Chris Sarna (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) finished third overall in the half marathon in a time of 1:17:35, narrowly missing the NAIA's qualifying standard.

Velasquez led almost from the start of the race and lengthened his lead to over a minute by the finish. The challenging, hilly course proved no match for the strong freshman as he ran an even race from start to finish in his initial half marathon. The 2011 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships takes place from May 26-28 at the Outdoor Sports Complex at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind.

"Runners become good at the longer distances as they get older," said SXU men's track & field coach Ed McAllister. "Therefore, for Izak to run such a time in his first attempt over the distance is truly an outstanding performance. He should perform well again at the longer distance in the marathon in May."