The Oklahoma Christian University Men’s Track and Field team competed at the Indoor Gorilla Classic in Pittsburgh, Kansas on Feb. 12 and 13. The team had two events post NCAA Division II provisional qualifying times. Sophomore Dylan Burrows posted a provisional qualifying time in the 800 meter race, finishing in third place with a new personal best of 1:51.73. Burrows also helped the Eagles distance medley relay team achieve a provisional qualifying time where they came in at fourth place and posted the 10th best Division II time this season.
However, Burrows spoke about his worries concerning the relay team after dropping a few spots in the rankings.
“We were sitting at like 16th last weekend, but now we’ve bumped back to like 20th,” Burrows said. “I don’t know if we’ll get in; it’ll be tougher to get in on the relay than the individual race.”
Burrows was not the only one with hot feet at the Indoor Gorilla Classic. Colten Brown, Joseph Owens, Camden Miller, Austin McNair, Owen Pearce and Colton Meyers also set career bests in their races. Brown won the 5,000 meter and then took second place the next day in the 3,000 meter. Junior Verell McBride took first in the 200 meter, his first win at a college-level meet.
Burrows was excited with how well the Eagles performed at their second meet this season and spoke about how that performance helps him and his teammates.
“We were super hyped and everyone knows that they can run that time now that they’ve done it before, so now we know what we have to do to run the same times,” Burrows said. “We had a good field with a lot of people running quick so I just got to go with the pace and feed off of everybody else. It was a good day for everyone.”
Burrows gave some insight to what practices and training looks like as it’s getting close to NCAAs.
“We’re doing a little mileage and stairs and then I guess we back off the miles a little bit and hop on the track and it’s more speed stuff, but nothing really changes throughout the season. Once we start racing we just keep going with the same training,” Burrows said. “If anything we might decrease our distance a little bit so that we can stay fresh and healthy for the end of the season.”
Burrows also spoke about what it means to prepare mentally.
“It’s more about tweaking your race plan, at least for the 800 and events longer than that,” Burrows said. “You can’t go hard the whole way, so you gotta find that line of going too hard and blowing up or just going hard enough you can keep it up the whole way.”
This meet was the Eagles’ second meet, and the season is quite short with only three meets before NCAAs. Burrows credits the team’s career-breaking performance to practice from the previous week’s first meet. This track was also 300 meters long instead of the regulation 200 meter track, which helped the Eagles’ perform to their best.
The Gorilla Indoor Classic wrapped up the Eagles’ second meet of the season and gave a few runners a chance to qualify for the NCAA Division II tournament in March.