Men’s, women’s track teams post career-bests in Missouri

Roberto Diaz runs the mile in 4:29.40 in the Missouri Southern Open on Feb. 6. Photo by Katie Jones.

Roberto Diaz runs the mile in 4:29.40 in the Missouri Southern Open on Feb. 6. Photo by Katie Jones.

Landon Huslig and Sawyer Pehkonen’s top-five finishes and an array of personal- and season-bests highlighted the weekend for the men’s track team at the Missouri Southern Open.

Head Coach Wade Miller said this weekend’s meet was a little different look for his team. “We were using this weekend to try a few different races for some people,” Miller said. “We were hoping to build either strength or speed, depending on the individual, so we will be ready to finish the season well in the next few weeks.”

Huslig and Pehkonen were the two highest finishers in any race for the Eagles last weekend. Huslig ran in the 400-meter first, placing fourth with his time of 50.33 seconds. He also ran in the 60-meter hurdles and took third in this race in 8.61 seconds, which was a qualifying time for the final.

Pehkonen took a rest from his primary event, the 400-meter, because he posted a national-qualifying time at his last meet. He instead put all his focus into the 600- and 200-meter races.

In the 600-meter, Pehkonen posted a time of 1:13.69, placing second in the race and first among Division II runners. In the 200, the trend was not much different, as Pehkonen took third in the race and first among Division II runners, with his career-best time of 22.42 seconds. Joshua Jones ran in the 600-meter as well, placing sixth, with a time of 1:16.15.

Eli Sherrill set his career-best time in the 200-meter with a posting of 22.86 seconds, placing him 11th in the race. Sherrill and Austin Kruzich came in at a dead tie in the 60-meter in 7.13 seconds, a career-best time in the event for each of them.

Two other top-10 finishes came from the distance runners. Roberto Diaz finished in eighth in the mile with a time of 4:29.40 and Jake Weith posted his career-best time in the 5,000-meter in 15:53.10 for eighth place.

For the women, the field events highlighted the weekend, including career-best throws from Miranda Ostlund, Alexus Woolly and Maia Zeno.

Ostlund led the trio with her throw of 45 feet 9 3/4 inches, far enough to place her eighth in the competition. Next came Woolly, who placed 10th with her throw of 43 feet 11 3/4 inches. Zeno rounded out the group with her toss of 36 feet 5 3/4 inches.

Just as the men, the women runners performed multiple career-best times, beginning with Maci Rich in the 800-meter when she posted her time of 2:24.77, placing her ninth.

Four more Lady Eagles posted career-bests, including Aubree Hughes in the 3,000-meter and Sarah Cobb in the mile. Kayla Parker and Heather Jones both posted career-bests in the 200-meter and Parker also ran her best time in the 60-meter and Jones in the 400-meter.

Miller said he was pleased with his team this meet and is looking to finish the spring season well.

“We had a lot of personal and career-bests today which is a good sign of improvement for the last few weeks of this season,” Miller said. “We are looking forward to Pittsburg State on Feb. 12-13 to improve our national position in the men’s 4×400-meter relay and to match up against great competition in some individual events.”

Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.

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