Junior Roz Hamilton did not take long to make her entrance into the track season.
Hamilton finished in the top seven in three events at Oklahoma Baptist University’s Bison Invitational. Overall, Oklahoma Christian University finished in the top 10 across 12 events.
Sophomore Katie Ostlund competed well for the Eagles. Ostlund won the javelin throw and finished in second place in the hammer throw. With a throw of 139 feet, Ostlund recorded the longest throw of the spring in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Freshman Tara Lewis finished fourth in two events, the 800 meters and the 1500 meters. Lewis has already qualified for both events in the NCCAA.
Hamilton finished seventh in the 400 meters and fifth in shot put; the discus proved Hamilton’s strongest showing as she earned fourth place, with sophomore Makenzie Brown placing one spot behind her. Brown took NAIA All-American honors last year in the event.
The pair, who double as members of the Lady Eagle basketball team, qualified for the NCCAA meet in their first weekend at the track.
Brown qualified in the discus and Hamilton in the shot put, discus and 400 meters.
Junior Andrea Dennis added her name to the list of qualifiers for the NCCAA meet. Her 200 meter time of 26.25 seconds put her in seventh place out of a field of 21 sprinters.
Sophomore Maegan Cowan also qualified in the 200 meters, finishing just behind freshman teammate Rebecca Bloodworth, who had already qualified.
The 4×400-meter relay team, made up of Bloodworth, Cowan, Dennis and junior Somer Helms, also ran their way to qualification. Their time of 4:04.78 was good enough to earn the fourth spot out of twelve teams in the relay.
On the men’s side, the Eagles won first and second place in two events. Senior Geoffrey Njonjo and sophomore Roberto Diaz took home first and second place in the 500 meters. Junior Larry Brown and sophomore Conner Lankford also finished first and second, respectively, in the hammer throw.
Diaz followed up his second-place finish in the 500 meters by taking second out of 44 runners in the 1500 meters.
Senior Nick Stoots, with an 11th-place finish, and junior David Koistinen, with a 12th-place finish, both qualified for the NCCAA meet as well.
Senior Renaldo Garrett finished third in the 100-meter hurdles with a time that qualified him for the NCCAA championships.
Freshman Bryant Keirns finished fifth amongst a field of nine in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Keirns finished with a time of 10:1.85 in his debut race, qualifying for the NCCAA meet at the same time.
Freshman Ryan Lutterloh finished in the 10th spot in the 800 meters with a time of 1:59.30
The Eagles dominated the field in the hammer throw. Of the four contestants, the top two were from Oklahoma Christian.
Brown took first place with a 53.99 meters toss. He commented on his first-place performance.
“We actually had good weather at the OBU meet,” Brown said. “There were some OC students there and that was real cool. We hardly get that, so that was good.”
Lankford finished second behind Brown with a throw of 42.92 meters. The distance of this throw qualified Lankford for the NCCAA championships as well.
Njonjo pulled away from the field of 25 runners in the 5000 meters, with a time of 14:56.7. This was the third-fastest time in the event this year in the NCCAA.
Diaz finished second to Njonjo in the race with a time of 15:04.89, which was the fifth-fastest time in the NCCAA.
The Eagles’ next meet is the Emporia State Relays in Emporia, Kan. on April 6.