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Pia Named Bruin Athletic Association Athlete of the Week for 2nd TimeSalem-News.com Sports
(NEWBERG, Ore.) - After posting the best time by a George Fox University runner in the Northwest Conference Menâ€™s Cross Country Championship on Oct. 30 at Ft. Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, Washington, Joseph Pia has been named the Bruin Athletic Association Menâ€™s Athlete of the Week for Oct. 25-31.
Pia completed the 8K race in a time of 26:39.94 to finish 23rd overall out of 89 runners and 23rd for team scoring. He was 1:21:28 behind Leo Castillo of Willamette University, who took individual honors with a time of 25:18.66. It was the fifth time in six fall races in which the freshman from Newberg, Oregon, has been the Bruinsâ€™ top finisher. His efforts helped the Bruins to a fifth-place finish in the conference meet in what distance coach Jeff Larson called â€śthe best meet we have run in the three years I have been associated with the program.â€ť
Pia was also named the BAA Menâ€™s Athlete of the Week for Sept. 13-19 after finishing 10th in the Willamette Grass Course race on Sept. 17. He was honorable mention for the NWC Menâ€™s Cross Country Student-Athlete of the Week for Sept. 13-19, and also for the week before of Sept. 6-12 after an 11th-place finish in the season-opening BYU-Hawaiâ€™i Invitational on Sept. 11.
The Athlete of the Week Award for both men and women is presented throughout the Bruin sports seasons by the Bruin Athletic Association, whose mission is to provide George Fox student-athletes with an outstanding athletic and academic experience and to strengthen the overall competitiveness of the Bruin athletics program. For more information about the organization or to become a member, visit the Bruin Athletic Association website.
NEXT: The next race for the Bruins is the NCAA Division III West Regional on Saturday, Nov. 13, at Bushâ€™s Pasture Park in Salem, Oregon. Representing the Bruins will be their top seven runners (the maximum allowable by the NCAA) from the NWC Championship: Pia, Dylan Arana (Fr., Springfield, Ore.), Kyle Dreibelbis (Fr., McMinnville, Oregon), Allen Cassel (Jr., Anchorage, Alaska), Austin Morrell (So., Prineville, Oregon), Chad Sutfin (So., Clatskanie, Oregon), and Tyler Magill (Fr., Newberg, Oregon).
Willamette will host the regional races, which begin at 11:00 a.m. with the menâ€™s 8K, followed by the womenâ€™s 6K at 12:00 noon. The top two teams, along with the top seven runners who are not on either of those teams, usually advance to the NCAA Division III National Championships, which are being held this year on Saturday, Nov. 27, at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.
Among the nationally-ranked teams expected to compete in the West Regional are Whitworth University (15th) from the Northwest Conference, Colorado College (19th) from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College (24th) from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and Willamette (29th) from the NWC. Lewis & Clark College was also listed among â€śothers receiving votesâ€ť in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll of Nov. 3.
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