05/01/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/01/2019 14:06
McKeesport, PA. - The United States Collegiate Athletic Association announced their weekly award winners on Tuesday and Penn State Greater Allegheny track & field runner Makis Rivera (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) was named the USCAA Track & Field Male Athlete of the Week. Rivera was one of two USCAA National Champions at the event and winning a gold in the 800-Meter run.
Rivera qualified for the National Meet back on April 13th at the Westminster Invitational where he set his current personal record of 2:08.33. With that in mind, Rivera did not have to worry about qualifying and could focus on getting better and honing his skills as a runner in his first season competing collegiately in Track & Field.
The 800-Meter was the only event he was competing in on the day and he, like so many others at the meet, had to battle the wind and the rain throughout the day. He found himself down early on in the race as he was in second place all the way up until the final turn. That is when he found a new gear and had enough to catch first place and bring home the team's second USCAA National Championship.
For Rivera, it wasn't his first time competing on the national stage as he and the PSUGA Men's Basketball team had made the USCAA National tournament just a season ago. However, it was the first time he won a medal at a national event as he stood proud atop the podium of 800-Meter competitors.
Rivera is the fourth member of the PSUGA track & field team to be recognized by the USCAA and it is the first time this season that Rivera won the award. His sister, Eladia Kennedy, gave PSUGA Track & Field the clean sweep of the weekly awards as she took home the USCAA Track & Field Male Athlete of the Week Award. Rivera is the 12th PSUGA athlete to gain national recognition this season.
Rivera and the PSUGA Track & Field team have one meet remaining before they officially wrap-up the 2019 athletic season when they head to Allegheny College for the Gator Invitational on Friday May 10th at 9 a.m.