AZUSA, Calif. -- The Azusa Pacific men’s track and field program announced three additions to the team for the 2014-15 school year on Wednesday, which was the first day recruits are permitted to sign commitments with NCAA programs. Brief information about each incoming athlete is listed below.
Azusa Pacific is coming off an outstanding 2013 calendar year, claiming National Christian College Athletic Association national titles in all three championship meets of 2013 (indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and cross country), bringing the Cougars’ championship tally to 37 titles all-time between men’s and women’s teams at indoor, outdoor, or cross country national championship meets.
“We’re still a pretty young team moving forward, so the types of athletes we’re bringing in at this point need to have a proven ability to step up in big meets,” Azusa Pacific men’s track and field head coach Kevin Reid said. “One of the biggest adjustments we’re facing as a program as we make this transition to NCAA competition is the quality of the depth at the national level, and the today’s signings represent three good athletes who project to have a high ceiling.”
2014 AZUSA PACIFIC TRACK AND FIELD COMMITMENTS
Hunter Gulino, Fountain Valley HS (Fountain Valley, Calif.)
Last fall, Gulino broke Fountain Valley’s school record in the 1600 meters, registering a career-best time of 4:16.54 at the county championship meet last April... Also has personal-bests of 2:03.87 in the 800 meters and 9:27.50 in the 3200 meters... Will compete in both cross country and track and field.
Coach Comments: Preston Grey (Distance Coach)
“Hunter is one of the best 1600-meter runners in Orange County, and he projects very well with our current middle-distance group.”
Alek Simpson, Yosemite HS (Oakhurst, Calif.)
Ran a career-best 15:46 at last fall’s CIF State Cross Country Championships, finishing 11th overall… Also has personal-bests of 2:05.64 in the 800 meters, 4:25.80 in the 1600 meters and 10:03.92 in the 3200 meters... Is the son of former Azusa Pacific track and field athlete Rob Simpson, who currently serves as the director of Azusa Pacific’s High Sierra Semester... Will compete in both cross country and track and field.
Coach Comments: Preston Grey (Distance Coach):
“Alek trains at some of the longer distances, and he’s one of the best cross country runners in the Central Valley.”
Jalen Wyatt, Helix HS (San Diego, Calif.)
Wyatt will be a two-sport athlete at Azusa Pacific, competing in football as well as the throws for the Cougar track and field team… In football, was an All-CIF first team, all-county first team, and all-league first team lineman... Will compete in the throws for Azusa Pacific’s storied track and field program... Set Helix school throwing record in shot put (10-lb) in 2012, and posted school’s third-highest marks in 12-lb shot put (52’-04”) and discus (152’-0”)... Is the son of Azusa Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame member and former two-sport athlete Jason Wyatt, a two-year starting linebacker in football and a six-time individual NAIA champion in the shot put who was a part of Azusa Pacific’s NAIA outdoor national championship teams in 1991 and 1992.
Coach Comments: Kevin Reid:
“It’s great to have Jason back on campus, and it’s exciting to reconnect with a great family. Having Jason around brings some of that old tradition back naturally, but Jalen also has his own influence. He is a highly projectable guy with great athleticism, and although he’s coming in pretty raw, the skills he has help give him great upside.”