March 22, 2011
Gian-Paul Caccia, a 2008 Loyola graduate, ran a personal-best time on Sunday at the New York City Half-Marathon and qualified for the 2012 United States Olympic Trials.
Caccia, who competed in cross country at Loyola and earned a bachelor of business administration degree in 2008 and an M.B.A. from the school in 2010, placed 26th overall and was the eighth American finisher in an elite international field.
His time of 1:04.26 shaved nearly two seconds off his previous fastest and earned him the right to compete for a spot in the upcoming London Olympic Games.
"Gian was one of the hardest working, motivated runners we have had here at Loyola, and he showed steady progress every year he was on this team," said Loyola Head Cross Country Coach Rick Woods. "I am not surprised that he is running this well. This is really only the beginning for Gian. We are all really proud of his accomplishment"
The field included several former Olympians including Americans Abdi Abdirahman, Galen Rupp and Meb Keflezighi.
Caccia, who is competing professionally for the New York Athletic Club, has also competed in several other road races. Last year, he clocked a personal-best time of 14:23 in the 5,000 meters, and he won the 2010 JP Morgan Chase New York City Corporate Challenge, running 17:36 over the 3.5-mile course.
He also finished 24th in an elite field of professionals at the 2010 Healthy Kidney 10k race through New York City's Central Park.