SACRAMENTO, Calif. – It was just a few years ago Eric Avila wasn’t even running competitively. On Saturday, Avila finished 10th overall in the 1,500 meter run at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento.
After a year at Northern Arizona University, Avila took two years off before joining Southern Oregon University’s cross country and track and field teams. He’s now a multiple NAIA champion and a challenger on the national stage. He won the elite men’s mile at the Jim Ryun Festival of Miles on June 5 in San Diego. That secured Avila’s spot in the outdoor championships. On Thursday, Avila barely qualified for the 1,500 final, but on Saturday Avila held close to the pack for most of the race before fading in the final 200 meters. Former Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano won the race with a time of 3:38.63. Avila did set his PR in the race with a time of 3:41.29.
You can watch a replay of the race here.