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Eagles, Lady Eagles advance to Division II regional meet

Five Eagles and two Lady Eagles earned All-Heartland Conference honors on Saturday, as both of the Oklahoma Christian University cross-country teams placed second at the Heartland Conference Championship in Mansfield, TX.

The Lady Eagles finished the meet with a team score of 91, seven points ahead of third-place Newman University and second only to Dallas Baptist University’s score of 22.

Senior Layne Hammer finished second individually with a time of 22:01.1, followed by senior Maci Rich, who placed 12th with a time of 23:01.8. Both Hammer and Rich earned first team All-Heartland honors for their performances.

The All-Heartland first-team honor was Hammer’s second, after placing third individually in last year’s meet, and Rich’s first since she received honorable mention in 2015.

Other runners for the Lady Eagles included senior Sarah Cobb, who placed 25th in 23:43.4; freshman Kelsey Castillo, who finished 34th in 24:17.8; freshman Rylee Rich in 36th 24:29.4; redshirt junior Aubree Hughes in 50th with 25:35.8; senior Katie Jones in 52nd with a 25:43.7; sophomore Molly McQuirk in 59th in 26:20.8 and freshman Sydni Lehr, who finished 62nd with a time of 26:26.0.

Oklahoma Christian’s men’s cross-country team also took second at the Conference Championships after placing five runners in the top-13 and earning five All-Heartland honors.

The Eagles finished the meet with a team score of 44, 13 points behind first-place Dallas Baptist.

“As a team, we were disappointed that we did not get the win,” junior Sisay Gillock said. “It was very tough competition and we came in a little short for the day, but we are already looking forward to getting revenge next year.”

Gillock led the Eagles with a time of 25:00.6, finishing fifth and earning him his third All-Heartland Conference first-team honor.

Senior Kyle Broaddrick finished sixth individually in 25:10.9 and was named a first-team honoree for his second time. Redshirt sophomore Evan McQuirk placed ninth with a time of 25:29.3 for a first-team honor and senior Evan Durrill earned his third All-Heartland honor with an 11th place finish in 25:42.9. Junior Emory Lobley finished 13th in 25:54.8 to earn his second straight honorable mention.

Other runners for the Eagles included sophomores Trevor Talley and Jake Weith, who both finished with a time of 26:55.2; freshman Kelton Reynolds who placed 39th in 26:58.9; freshman Bailey Bach in 61st with a 27:57.6; senior Nathan Giles in 76th in 29:06.2 and freshman Nathan Jennings in 77th place with a time of 29:07.4.

Both teams will compete in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional meet on Nov. 5 at Washington Park in Denver, CO.

“Individually, I want to perform to the best of my ability at regionals to put in a good score for the team,” Gillock said. “We are ready and determined to compete against tough competition as a team in Colorado.”

Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.

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