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MEN & WOMEN CRUSH 2021-2022 SCAC XC CHAMPIONSHIPS

At the 2021-2022 Division III (DIII) SCAC XC Championships in Irving, TX, today, February 6, the Austin College Distance Track/XC men and women made school history.

They did so in spite of being told by word of mouth a week ago they would lose their coach and program. President Steven O’Day and Athletic Director David Norman had determined to cut Distance Track/XC, following in the discriminatory footsteps of other colleges like Brown University, Clemson University, and the University of Michigan. It took Steven O’Day and David Norman a week to publicly announce their decision, which came out on the college’s social media pages yesterday.

Small wonder they hesitated to let everyone know, considering institutions making the same choice to cut their least expensive athletics programs with the highest percentages of student-athletes of color—running programs—have recently become infamous. Because cutting running coaches and programs takes opportunity in sport from leaders and students of color, as national civil rights advocate and ’Roo running program champion Russell Dinkins explains, the act is a clear sign a school does not value people of color.

Nevertheless, Coach Garcia and his runners—combined, men and women in the program are, on average, 54 percent people of color every year, according to the program’s 6-year history—arrived in Irving determined to outdo themselves. The team’s spectacular, record-breaking performance under the one coach of color leading an Austin College athletics program on his own is a clear message to the community of Sherman and to the world at large.

The Distance Track/XC coach and program are unstoppable, regardless of the amount of racial discrimination they face from Austin College. No one can quench this team’s undaunted spirit, character, and legacy.

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For the first time in school history, two men make All-SCAC at the same time, with one missing out by one place! Johnny Biffar 9th, and Andrew Thomas 14th!

  • Women’s team: 2 school records broken—and ALL-SCAC honors—for standout Aimee Landers-Wilburn!

    1. 3rd-place finish in the 10,000-m race, owing to a school-record split of 41:04

    2. Next day, after clocking 19:14 in the 5000-m race, earns another school record!

  • Men’s team: places 5th out of 9 teams—with a roster of 6 men!

    1. Gabe Graf: 6th-place finish in the 800-m race, breaking the previous school record thanks to a blazing time of 2:01.91!

    2. Chris Biffar and Christan Tomy: 4th and 6th place, respectively, in the 1500-m race

    3. Johnny Biffar: 4th-place finish in a competitive 5000-m race, closing his last mile in 4:57 (<1s from a medal!)

    4. Andrew Thomas: 10th-place finish in the competitive 5000-m race, and 6th-place finish in the men’s 10-k race

    5. Andrew Cutting: 9-s PR in the 800-m race

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Sweeping the SCAC Distance Track Championships

April 24-25, 2021

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