In the perfect sport to hit the ground running, Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s Jason Covarrubias, the head coach of both the men’s and women’s cross country teams, quickly signed three incoming members for the men’s squad.

The newest sport in SAGU’s expanding athletic community has now signed their first-ever member to the Lady Lions team.

Covarrubias is pleased to announce that Destiny Garza, a graduate of Irving’s McArthur High School, has signed to become the first female cross country runner to sign with the Lady Lions.

She was named the team MVP and captain for the Cardinals in her senior season of high school last fall.

McArthur won their Class 5A district championship and also advanced to qualify for the Region 3 meet. 

The team prepared for tough competition by participating in the Midwest Invitational in Wisconsin.

While competing for head coach Kelly Silha and assistant coach Xang Chareunsab, Garza turned in impressive bests in three distance runs.

She did a 20:26 in the 5K, a 5:41 in the mile and a solid 12:38 in the two-mile. 

“We are thrilled to have Destiny on our team,” Covarrubias said. “She brings plenty of leadership and experience. That will prove beneficial to our young squad.”

Covarrubias talked with Garza’s high school coaches a lot before signing the young runner.

“Her high school coaches couldn’t speak an ill word against Destiny. One told me to be ready for early mornings because she has been the first one to school, ready to run at 5:30 a.m,” Covarrubias said. “She did that for four years and often beat the coaches to practice. She will keep me on my toes.”  

Garza chose SAGU over Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, which finished second last year in the Red River Athletic Conference.

The Lady Lions’ all-terrain runners will vie against 10 other teams in the Sooner Athletic Conference this fall.

“We expect to see some amazing things from this Garza in the years to come,” Covarrubias  said.  “Destiny’s dedication and love towards the sport will help propel us towards the top of the Sooner Conference.”

Destiny may be undecided about her major, but counts her faith as important and unwavering.

SAGU is scheduled to race in four events this fall: two in September and two in October. 

The Lady Lions will also compete in the Sooner Conference Meet in Shawnee, Okla., in November.