DAY 5 (Aug. 5): Pushing The Pace, Even In Paradise
At the turn of the millennium, Azusa Pacific was already established as a national track & field power. However, the Cougars’ strength as a program has been fortified with the development of its cross country program into a perennial national title contender. Since 2000, Azusa Pacific has posted 11 top-10 NAIA finishes in women’s cross country, including the program’s first-ever national title in 2008. In similar fashion, the men’s program registered top-10 national finishes in six of the past 10 seasons, finishing as national runner-up in 2008.
“One of the biggest reasons the program has developed has been more of an emphasis on the distance program,” said Preston Grey, who last week was introduced as Azusa Pacific’s track & field women’s head coach as he continues into his eighth year as the cross country head coach. “(Former cross country coach) Bill Reeves took that and developed It, and there were a number of athletes along the way who helped push that along. One generation to the next has passed that along and carried that tradition along.”