Senior Layne Hammer became the first Oklahoma Christian University female runner of the season to be named multiple times as the Heartland Conference women’s cross country player of the week, as the Lady Eagles and Eagles competed in the 80th annual Cowboy Jamboree at Oklahoma State University last Saturday.
The Eagles came in second of 21 teams with 100 points, trailing Butler Community College, who posted a team score of 71.
Junior Sisay Gillock finished as the highest individual finisher for the Eagles, placing fourth out of the 168-man field with a time of 26:32.5 over the 8,000-meter course.
“I felt pretty good throughout the race,” Gillock said. “It was a challenging course, but I was mentally and physically prepared to compete and get good scores for my team. We have a strong team this year, so I am excited to see how the rest of the season is going to turn out.”
Sophomore Evan McQuirk also finished in the top-10 for Oklahoma Christian, placing seventh in a time of 26:51.8. It was his third top-10 finish out of his three collegiate meets.
The Eagles’ number three runner, junior Emory Lobley, placed 22nd in 27:47.6, while Jake Weith ran a time of 28:15.8, placing 34th. Sophomore Trevor Talley rounded out the top five runners for Oklahoma Christian, placing 38th in 28:20.2.
Other runners for the Eagles included freshman Kelton Reynolds, placing 45th in 28:29.5; senior Evan Durrill finishing 99th in 30 minutes even; freshman Bailey Bach placing 104th in 30:13.5; junior Tanner Cate finishing 123rd in 30:59.8 and freshman Hillary Kiptoo placing 155th in 32:53.5.
The Lady Eagles raced to a fourth-place finish in the 20-team field in Stillwater, OK, last Saturday. Seniors Hammer and Maci Rich both finished in the top-15 individually.
The Lady Eagles finished the competition with a team score of 116, trailing El Paso Community College with 57 points, Oklahoma Baptist University with 85 and Oklahoma City University with 87.
Hammer, who won this same race last year, placed third overall and second among collegiate participants. She ran 18:32.9 over the 5,000-meter course.
Rich placed 15th out of the 170-woman field with a time of 19:41.8, and her younger sister, freshman Rylee Rich, crossed the line next, placing 32nd in 20:15.9.
As for the other runners for Oklahoma Christian, freshman Kelsey Castillo finished 36th in 20:27.0; senior Sarah Cobb ran 20:35.4; senior Katie Jones finished 92nd in 22:06.1; junior Aubree Hughes placed 94th in 22:11.5; sophomore Molly McQuirk finished 121st in 22:58.2 and freshman Sydni Lehr finished 125th in 23:03.4.
Hammer also received the Heartland Conference’s women’s cross-country runner of the week for the second consecutive time.
“I’m happy about the conference award,” Hammer said. “I know that some of my bigger competitors didn’t race last weekend though, so to me this award isn’t as exciting as last weeks.”
Both teams will return to action in two weeks when they compete in the Fort Hays State Tiger Open on Oct. 8.