The Oklahoma Christian University’s men’s track team made history on Jan. 29, breaking the 50-year-old school record in the 4×400 relay race at the Pittsburg State Invitational.
The prior 4×400 relay time of 3:16.04, set in 1966, marked the longest-standing record for the Eagles’ indoor track and field teams until the relay team consisting of Sawyer Pehkonen, Landon Huslig, Ryan Lutterloh and Joshua Jones broke it with their time of 3:15.74.
Not only did the quartet break the school record, but its time was also a national qualifying time at the NCAA Division II championships, which will be held at the same facility on March 11 and 12.
In an interview with Sports Information Director Murray Evans, Track and Field Head Coach Wade Miller said he was proud of the runners’ and coaches’ efforts, which provided Friday’s results.
“This was a great experience for the guys,” Miller said. “They are working hard and it was exciting to see it pay off as the race unfolded. Coaches Jeff Bennett, Philip Dale and Tony Wallace have done a great job preparing these guys to perform.”
As a full member of Division II, Oklahoma Christian saw its first NCAA Division II qualifier when Sawyer Pehkonen clocked in a 48.60-second time in the 400-meters, fast enough for sixth place.
Kyle Broaddrick placed sixth in the mile with his personal record time of 4:20.68, which was second among the Division II competitors in the race.
Highlights for the Lady Eagles’ meet included Maci Rich and Leisa VanVooren posting top-10 finishes in the their individual races.
Rich clocked in with a career-best time of 5:11.96, placing her eighth while VanVooren ran the 600-meters, winning her heat and taking fifth overall in the event with her time of 1:27.71.
Miranda Ostlund represented the Lady Eagles as the lone field competitor, taking part in the weight throw. She threw a top throw of 40 feet, 11 inches.
Aside from assisting the record-breaking relay team, Huslig also ran in the 60-meter hurdles, posting a time of 8.62 seconds to finish 29th. Sisay Gillock ran in the 5,000-meter race and placed 19th with his time of 15:40.80.
Emory Lobley also ran in the 600-meters, placing 22nd and posting a personal best time of 1:15.71.
The next meet for the men and women’s teams is the Missouri Southern Lion Open next Friday and Saturday in Joplin, Missouri.
Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.