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Raiders' Avila honored by CCC

Eric Avila, who just completed a historic senior season at Southern Oregon University, was voted the Cascade Collegiate Conference men's track and field athlete of the year.

The three-time NAIA champion is SOU's first men's track and field athlete to attain the honor since Richard Bailey in 2002. He's the first Raider athlete to get it in any sport since Jackie Speer was named the 2010 conference women's basketball player of the year.

"I feel honored," Avila said. "The Cascade Conference is such a competitive one. I must credit my competition within the conference for pushing me to be the best I can right now and in the future."

His best was also the best in the country in the 1,500-meter race this spring at the NAIA outdoor championships, in the distance medley relay earlier this year at the NAIA indoor championships, and at the NAIA cross country championships during the fall season.

Avila was the male athlete of the meet at the CCC track and field championships, where he helped the Raider men capture their second straight title with wins in the 1,500- and 5,000-meter races and a runner-up finish in the 800.

He posted the best times of his career in the 800 (1:50.83), 1,500 (3:42.18) and 5,000 (13:43.05) this spring.