(Neb)-Garcia, Banzhaf Break CSC 5K Records
CHADRON - Two veteran distance runners set Chadron State College records in the 5000 meters late Thursday afternoon during the Distance Carnival at Azusa Pacific University in southern California.
Senior Alejandro Garcia of Pine Bluffs, Wyo., shattered the men's record by almost exactly 20 seconds while junior Nicky Applegarth Banzhaf of Chadron lowered her own record. The pair also hold the CSC records in the 10,000 meters.
Garcia won his heat, which had 33 runners from 11 states and Costa Rica, in 14:29.50 to shatter the second-oldest Chadron State track record. The former mark of 14:49.60 had been set by Lue Graesser, a native of Springview, Neb., in 1975.
Garcia’s previous best time of 15:03.42 in the 5000 was set a year ago while the Eagles were visiting California. His new time is a provisional qualifier for the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Championships in late May.
Banzhaf's time of 17:34.7 knocked off about 8 seconds from the CSC mark that she posted last April, also in California. She placed sixth among the 33 entries in her heat.
The Distance Carnival attracts runners from across the country hoping to set set records and qualify for national meets by taking advantage of the low altitude and ideal weather conditions.
There were 242 men and 229 women entered in the 5000 this year with each gender divided into 8 heats.
Three other CSC men were in the field and each set a personal best. Sophomores Eric Yager of Hot Springs, S.D., and Levi Avila of Mitchell, Neb., each trimmed 28 seconds off their bests with times of 15:16.91 and 15:21.94, respectively,
Freshman Riley Howard of Anchorage, Alaska, was just 1.22 seconds behind Avila, topping his previous best this season by 40 seconds.
Two other Lady Eagles were also in the 5000. Maggie Vinton of North Platte had a time of 18:34.04, her season-best by 33 seconds, and Taylor Allison of Gordon completed the race in 18:41.91, her career-best by 39 seconds.
CSC district coach Brian Medigovich said he was pleased with his athletes’ performances. All 8 Eagles will run a 1500 either Friday evening or Saturday morning before returning to Chadron.
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