Eagles shine on the competitive Nebraska track

Sawyer Pehkonen wins his  600-meter heat and placed 10th in the 30-man field. Photo by Katie Jones

Sawyer Pehkonen wins his 600-meter heat and placed 10th in the 30-man field. Photo by Katie Jones

Sophomore transfer Sawyer Pehkonen and the two relay teams led the Eagles track team in the season-opening Holiday Inn Invitational in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Track and Field Head Coach Wade Miller said he was pleased with the way his team ran in its first meet of the indoor track season. “I thought that the men had some bright spots despite a few challenges of the first spring meet,” Miller said.

On the first day of the meet, the distance runners and hurdlers led the way for the Eagles.

Landon Huslig ran in the 60-meter hurdles with his time of 8.63 seconds, which was fast enough for 13th.

Kyle Broaddrick placed ninth in the 1,000-meter race, posting a time of 2:37.32. Roberto Diaz ran in the 3,000-meter and clocked in at a time of 8:38.37, fast enough to earn him eighth.

As for Pehkonen, he began his successes when he placed 10th out of 30 runners in the 600-meter race with his time of 1:22.17. He also ran the third leg of the 4×400 Eagles relay team.

This year’s four-man team consists of Huslig, Austin Kruzich, Pehkonen and Josh Jones. They finished with a time of 3:20.00, fast enough for seventh place – the highest finish of any Division II school competing at the meet.

The Eagles’ distance medley relay team consisted of Broaddrick running the 1,200-meter leg, Ryan Lutterloh the 400-meter leg, Emory Lobley the 800-meter leg and Diaz the 1,600-meter leg. The team ran a combined time of 10:29.80 and placed seventh in the 13-team field.

As for the sprinting events, Jones and Kruzich led the way in the 200-meter, with Kruzich finishing in 23.05 seconds and Jones at 23.53 seconds. Colin McCaskill posted a time of 52.48 seconds in the 400-meter.

Multi-event athlete Austin Wallace competed for the first time since 2014 due to injury. He threw the shot put for his season-opening meet and posted a throw of 36 feet 7 inches, which earned him 18th place.

Miller said he believes his men’s team could have a few things to work on but was very pleased with the first meet as a whole.

“It was nice to get back into competition and see where we’re at,” Miller said. “We had some good early season performances and got to experience a great facility. Overall we have some things to work on, but I think we got a pretty good start.”

Oklahoma Christian will return to action Jan. 22 and 23 in the Missouri Southern Open Invitational in Joplin, Missouri.

Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information Office. 

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