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Xavier Rodriguez wraps career at SFA
Running for Stephen F. Austin State University, Xavier Rodriguez of Poth (619) competes in the NCAA national cross-country meet. Rodriguez finished 119th out of the country’s top 245 college runners.
NACOGDOCHES -- After a great senior season that included a trip to the nationals, the collegiate cross-country career of former Poth graduate Xavier Rodriguez has come to an end.
Rodriguez had a stellar career at Poth High School, and earned the opportunity to compete for Stephen F. Austin (SFA) State University in Nacogdoches. As part of the cross-country team, Rodriguez found early success late in his freshman season, finishing among the school’s best during his final two races of the season.
During his sophomore campaign, Rodriguez had a great showing at the NCAA regional cross-country championship, and later found success in the 10,000-meter run at the conference outdoor track meet.
Rodriguez earned a top-10 finish in the steeplechase his junior year, and finished sixth in the outdoor 5,000-meter run at the conference meet. He finished fourth in 10,000 meters, and eventually received all-region honors at the NCAA South Central Regionals with his 18th-place finish overall.
After missing the 2011 season, Rodriguez came back strong in the fall of 2012, leading his team throughout the season. Rodriguez set a new school record in 8,000 meters at the Southland Conference Championships, and earned a spot in the regional meet. At the regional, Rodriguez had another great showing, finishing 11th overall, and earning a spot in the NCAA championships. For Stephen F. Austin, it was the first time the school had sent a male cross-country runner to the nationals since 2004.
The nationals put Rodriguez against the best runners in the country, and into the best field in which he had ever competed. Still, the Poth native turned in a great performance, finishing with a time of 30:54 over the 10,000-meter course. The finish was good enough for 119th place, well ahead of half of the 245-man field.
“I’m very proud of the way both of them ran today,” said SFA Cross-Country Coach Cody Clark of Rodriguez and teammate Lauren Clark, who also ran. “The race was very fast and there was never really a lot of change throughout the field over the course of the race, but still, I thought both ran well.”
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