While the regular population of Oklahoma Christian University students spent their summers working at internships or relaxing by the pool, Oklahoma Christian athletes received honors for their performances and worked to improve their skills for the upcoming athletic season.
At the conclusion of the spring season, Oklahoma Christian officially left the Heartland Conference and, beginning fall 2019, will compete as a member of the Lone Star Conference.
On Friday, Aug. 16, the Lone Star Conference announced a digital network partnership with BlueFrame Technology, which will provide live streaming of all Lone Star Conference competitions on computers and mobile devices.
Oklahoma Christian Sports Information Director Murray Evans announced the addition of two graduate assistants for the 2019-20 season on Wednesday, Aug. 14. Nehemiah Knox, a 2015 Oklahoma Christian graduate, will work with video and digital graphics to update the athletic website. Tanner Rehl, a recent graduate of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, will focus on game operations for soccer, volleyball, baseball, basketball and softball.
Each year, the Oklahoma Christian Athletic Department selects two athletes who exemplify the true heart, work and character of an Eagle athlete. For the 2018-19 season, basketball players Jordan Box and Addy Clift were named Mr. and Ms. Eagle, respectively, on Wednesday, June 19.
During the spring season, three Oklahoma Christian teams advanced to NCAA Division II postseason play. Because of their performance, Oklahoma Christian jumped to 130th place with 157 points in the Learfield Director’s Cup competition, which measures the overall strength of a university’s athletic department. Announced Monday, June 17, this marks the highest placement for Oklahoma Christian since joining the NCAA Division II.
The Heartland Conference Honor Roll, released Friday, June 14, includes 189 Oklahoma Christian athletes.
At the conclusion of a historic postseason run for the Oklahoma Christian softball team, graduate student and former softball pitcher Madison Hagood received two conference recognitions and was nominated for a division award.
On Friday, June 21, Hagood was chosen as the Heartland Conference Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, becoming only the second Oklahoma Christian athlete to receive this recognition.
Hagood became the first Oklahoma Christian athlete to be named the Heartland Conference Woman of the Year on Monday, July 8.
Then, the Heartland Conference nominated Hagood for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. On Tuesday, Aug. 6, she became one of 33 Division II athletes to move forward in the process. She currently sits on the list of 148 conference nominees chosen from 585 original nominees. In September, the selection committee will name the Top 30 honorees, 10 from each division. Then, in early October, nine finalists, three from each division, will be named before the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year is chosen.
Hunter Markwardt, a former graduate student and outfielder, waived his final year of eligibility and entered the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. The Philadelphia Phillies selected Markwardt in the 13th round, 390 overall on Wednesday, June 5. He became the first Oklahoma Christian baseball player to be selected since 2013 and only the ninth overall. Currently, he plays for the Williamsport Crosscutters, a Class A short season Phillies affiliate.
Former pitcher Jared Price signed to play for the Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers of the United Shore Professional Baseball League, an independent minor league based in Michigan.
Track and Field/ Cross Country
For the fifth straight season, both the men’s and women’s track and field teams were recognized as All-Academic Teams by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Monday, July 22.
The Oklahoma Christian team recorded the highest team GPA in the Heartland Conference with a 3.47 on Friday, June 14.
On Wednesday, June 26, graduate Rachel Meyers was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-America third team list. She becomes only the fifth Academic All-American in Oklahoma Christian women’s track and field and cross country history.
Oklahoma Christian Hall of Fame golfer Rhein Gibson secured a spot in the 2019-20 PGA Tour with a win in June at the BMW Charity Pro-Am. On Sunday, Aug. 11, he secured a high starting spot with a tie for 11th at the Winlo Foods Portland Open.
Recent graduate Ethan Smith turned professional after his senior season, posting a runner-up finish on the Long Shots Tour Monday, Aug. 5.
On Wednesday, July 24, senior Kate Goodwin became the only NCAA Division II player to reach the state amateur semifinals for the second straight year after reaching the semifinals of the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association State Amateur Championship.
Senior Abigail Rigsby shot a one-over-par 73 tie for fourth in the final round of the Prairie Invitational Wednesday, July 24.
For the second straight year, senior Juan Pallach earned recognition on the Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar list. Only 112 Division II athletes are chosen.
Also for the second year, the Oklahoma Christian women’s golf team led the Heartland Conference with five players receiving the All-America Scholar award from the Women’s Golf Association.
On Wednesday, June 19, Trevor Norby received third team recognition on the NCAA Division II PNG All-America list.
Oklahoma Christian Athletics will return to action with men’s and women’s soccer kicking off their season openers at home on Thursday, Sept. 5.