Track and field competitors claim 16 PRs in Wichita

Christina Kaelin runs the 800-meters at the K.T. Woodman Invitational on April 15. Photo by Katie Jones.

Christina Kaelin runs the 800-meters at the K.T. Woodman Invitational on April 15. Photo by Katie Jones.

Sixteen members of the Oklahoma Christian University track team posted personal records during the course of the Friday-Saturday K.T. Woodman Invitational meet in Wichita, Kansas.

Sophomore Landon Huslig won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.43 seconds – the fifth-best time in Division II this season – qualifying him for the Division II Outdoor Championships in Bradenton, Florida next month.

Sophomore Sawyer Pehkonen also posted a top-10 finish for the Eagles during the meet, placing sixth out of 67 runners in the 400-meter run with a time of 48.81 seconds.

During the first day of the meet, Trevor Talley and Nathan Giles posted personal-bests in the 1,500-meter run with times of 4:09.11 and 4:31.04, respectively. Tanner Cate also posted a career-best with a 2:05.07 in the 800-meter run.

“Track and Field is a difficult sport, whether you’re in a running event or in a field event,” Giles said. “It’s pretty easy to go through phases of discouragement and fighting through difficulty. But there’s no better feeling to get you out of a slump than to get a season best. That’s the kind of encouragement to get you back on your feet and puts you in a position to only get faster.”

Other personal records included Ryan Parker in the 400-meter run with a time of 53.12 seconds, freshman Grant Smith with an 11.34 second 100-meter run and a 23.19 second 200-meter run and Toye Alao with a mark of 139 feet 3 inches in the discus. Evan McQuirk posted a personal-best in the 5,000-meter with a time of 15:28.42.

Austin Kruzich tied his season-best with a 22.37-second 200-meter run and the Eagles’ 4×400-meter relay team of Ryan Lutterloh, Joshua Jones, Pehkonen and Huslig took home fourth place with a time of 3:18.74.

For the Lady Eagles, senior Tara Lewis posted season-best times in both the 800- and 1,500-meter run with times of 2:35.54 and 5:16.21, respectively.

Junior Maci Rich was three-tenths of a second shy of her career-best and less than two seconds away from the Oklahoma Christian school record in the 1,500-meter run during the first day of the meet. Rich finished seventh out of 62 competitors with a time of 4:46.77.

Freshman Leisa VanVooren added another top-10 finish for the Lady Eagles, placing 10th in the 800-meter with a time of 2:23.26. Christina Kaelin posted a personal-best in the 800-meter with a time of 2:50.24, while Sarah Cobb ran a 5:01.99 in the 1,500-meter.

During the second day of the meet, five Lady Eagles posted personal-bests, including Maia Zeno and Alexus Woolley in the hammer, with marks of 128 feet 11 inches and 128 feet 6 inches, respectively. Other bests included of Kayla Parker with a 25.96-second 200-meter run and Audrey Hays with a 28.35-second 200-meter run and an 18.18-second 100-meter-hurdle time. Freshman Heather Jones posted a time of 1:09.78 in the 400-meter hurdles, earning her a personal-best as well.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to run a personal-best and hopefully, I can continue to progress the rest of the season,” Talley said. “The team has done well overall with several of us placing top 15, and hopefully we will continue to gain momentum heading into conference.”

Both Oklahoma Christian track teams will compete in the Kansas Relays in Lawrence, Kansas from April 20-23.

Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.

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