IRVINE, Calif. --- California Baptist University's Mark Langworthy and Juan Romero both ran NAIA National Championship qualifying times at the Southern California Half Marathon Saturday hosted by Woodbridge High School in Irvine, Calif.
Langworthy ran a 1:13:59, coming one second under the NAIA "A" qualifying time of 1:14:00.
"Mark is coming off a great cross country season, and we felt that the "A" standard was a good possibility as long as his early miles weren't too fast and he was cognitive of what his times were throughout the race," said CBU Head Coach Wade Watkins.
Romero, meanwhile, finished with a 1:16:39, finishing one second under the NAIA "B" standard. With the "B" qualifying time, Romero will have to wait and see how many other athletes qualify throughout the year unless he can better it at another half marathon.
"Juan has always had good endurance and him moving up to the marathon was the natural progression for his senior year," said Watkins. "He had a little trouble pacing during the early portion of the race, but I have no doubt that with the proper training he'll be ready to go for the marathon when national rolls around."
Runners can qualify for the NAIA marathon by running either a half or full marathon. It is the last year the Lancers will be able to run the marathon as the NAIA is the only collegiate association that runs it at the national level, and CBU is in its final year competing in the NAIA as it transitions to NCAA Division II.
"Mark and Juan are our only two athletes running the marathon for us at the national level, so we wanted to get it in early enough to focus on their training," said Watkins. "Both of them ran well today and came in under the times we were shooting for."
The Lancers begin the 2011 track season Jan. 29 at the Concordia Indoor Qualifier.