4 Eagles finish in top 100 at Chile Pepper Festival

Roberto Diaz runs Saturday in the Chile Pepper Festival. In muddy conditions, Diaz finished 16th among college division runners.
Roberto Diaz runs Saturday in the Chile Pepper Festival. In muddy conditions, Diaz finished 16th among college division runners.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Oct. 5, 2013) – Led by Roberto Diaz and Bryant Keirns, four Oklahoma Christian runners finished among the top 100 in the college division race on a wet Saturday at Arkansas’ Chile Pepper Festival.

Running for the second time in as many weeks on a soggy course, the Eagles finished 10th among 21 college-division teams in the 8,000-meter race, posting a team score of 270. OC, running without one of its top five runners (Kyle Broaddrick), was the highest finisher among the four Heartland Conference teams in the field.

Diaz, a three-time conference runner of the week so far this season, posted another strong effort, finishing 16th in the 207-man field in 25:36.3. Keirns wasn’t far behind, taking 29th with a time of 26:08.2.

“Roberto and Bryant ran great and have been consistent all season,” OC coach Wade Miller said.

Evan Durrill continued his solid freshman season, finishing 62nd in 26:53.7, while Trenton Stephens was 100th in 27:42.2. Timothy Zuercher, returning to the OC lineup after missing the last two weeks, was 123rd in 28:06.7, rounding out the Eagles’ top five.

Also running for OC, Brennym Kaelin finished 133rd in 28:19.6, while Nick Stoots was 161st in 29:14.6.

“I am happy with the way we competed,” Miller said. “The course was underwater in places and really muddy. We had some really tough performances from Evan Durrill, Trent Stephens and Tim Zuercher.”

OC will have one more meet, the Oklahoma Baptist Bison Invitational, next Saturday before making its debut at the Heartland Conference Championship on Oct. 26.