Austin Wallace’s national qualifying score in the decathlon, in addition to individual victories by Bryant Kierns and Landon Huslig, led the Oklahoma Christian University men’s track team at the Oklahoma Baptist University Invitational on Saturday.
Wallace missed the 2015 season due to injury but came back and posted his career best in the decathlon with his score of 6,529. Wallace took top honors in five of the 10 decathlon events, winning the discus, javelin, shot put, 100-meter and 400-meters. He also came in second in the 110-meter hurdles, pole vault, long jump and high jump.
Head Coach Wade Miller said Wallace’s results are a promise of personal successes yet to come.
“Austin Wallace had a great performance winning the Decathlon and setting a personal best. He also surpassed the NCAA DII Championships provisional qualifying mark,” Miller said. “He has worked hard to be ready for this first Decathlon of his season and we are looking forward to several key upcoming competitions for him.”
Wallace’s score in the decathlon was the seventh-best score in all of Division II this spring and his javelin throw of 176 feet, 9 inches, was two inches away from breaking the school record.
Kierns and Huslig claimed individual victories at the meet as well. Kierns won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:52.61. Huslig won the 400-meter hurdles with his time of 53.96 seconds and also took fifth in in the 110-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 15.10 seconds.
Sprinters Austin Kruzich, Elijah Sherrill and Joshua Jones all posted personal-best times in their respective events.
Kruzich did so in the 100-meter with his time of 11.01 seconds as well as the 200-meter in 21.98 seconds.
Sherrill also posted his personal best in the 100-meter with his time of 10.95 seconds, which placed him seventh in the race and finally, Jones posted his personal best in the 200-meter with his time of 22.31 seconds.
The Eagles’ 4×400 relay team consisting of Jones, Pehkonen, Ryan Lutterloh and Huslig came in second with an approximate tie of 3.14 minutes. No official times were recorded for this event, due to errors from the timing company for the event.
Distance runners for Oklahoma Christian recorded two personal-best times and two top-five finishes in the 1,500-meters. Kyle Broaddick ran a personal best with his time of 4:00.12, to place him third and Roberto Diaz came in fifth with his time of 4:02.70. Trevor Talley also posted a personal-best time of 4:15.99.
In the 800-meter, Lutterloh posted a career-best time of 1:54.98, placing him fourth and Emory Lobley came in seventh with his time of 1:58.00. Blake Thompson ran a personal best with his time of 2:13.79 to round out the Eagles on Saturday.
Miller said he hopes to take this meet’s successes into the rest of the spring.
“We had quite a few personal bests set Saturday and we are looking to get back in a good rhythm after spring break and preparing for some big meets down the road,” Miller said.
The Eagles return to action this weekend with two meets. Some will attend the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, while others will go to the Bobcat Invitational in San Marcos, Texas.
Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.