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Raiders' Avila to run in USA Track and Field Champs

ASHLAND — Eric Avila will make the next stop on his post-collegiate running circuit today at the USA Track and Field Championships, which are being held this year at Sacramento State's Hornet Stadium.

Avila, a Southern Oregon University graduate as of June 14, is one of 30 runners who will participate in the 1,500-meter race. The first round is scheduled to get going at 6:30 p.m. today, and the finals are slated for a 2:14 p.m. start on Saturday.

Recently the recipient of the Cascade Conference Men's Athlete of the Year award, Avila qualified by running a 3-minute, 56.89-second mile that won the Jim Ryun Festival of Miles on June 5 in San Diego. It was the 13-best mile recorded in the country this year.

Avila won the 1,500-meter title at the NAIA Outdoor Championships on May 24. His best 1,500 time this year, registered on April 17 at the Oregon Relays, was 3:42.18.

Ghelfi, Rudd namedAll-Americans

Southern Oregon distance runners Eric Ghelfi and Alexandra Rudd are now Academic All-Americans, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced this week.

The Capital One College Division Academic All-America men's and women's track and field/cross country teams are comprised of student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions.

After previously being voted onto their respective All-District 4 Academic teams, Ghelfi was one of 48 men and Rudd one of 46 women in the NAIA who were eligible for the national honor, which recognizes student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. Both were among 10 individuals to be selected to the second team.

Ghelfi was an All American twice this school year — first for placing 20th at the NAIA Cross Country Championships during the fall, then for taking eighth in the 10,000-meter race last week at the NAIA Track and Field Championships. He also won his first Cascade Conference title in the 10K.

Rudd was SOU's top women's finisher at the NAIA Cross Country Championships in 49th, and this spring claimed fifth place in the 10,000-meter race and sixth in the 5K at the Cascade Conference Championships.