Barrientez, 3 others headed to nationals after Emporia State Relays

OC sophomore Bryant Keirns finished second in the 5,000 meters at the Emporia State Relays.
OC sophomore Bryant Keirns finished second in the 5,000 meters at the Emporia State Relays.

EMPORIA, Kan. (April 5, 2014) – Not that there was much doubt it would happen, but Oklahoma Christian senior Brayden Barrientez ensured Saturday that he’ll be going to the National Christian College Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Barrientez, a 10-time All-American, finished sixth in the 1,500 meters at the State Farm Emporia State Relays and joined Joshua Jones in the 400 meters and Bryant Keirns and Kyle Broaddrick in the 5,000 meters in qualifying for the season-ending national meet.

Barrientez had been easing himself back into action for his last season of outdoor eligibility after sitting out since the end of the 2013 indoor season. With a 1,500-meter time of 4:01.15, he easily met the NCCAA qualifying standard in the event. Jones did the same in the 400, finishing in 51.48 seconds.

OC’s most dominant performance came in the 5,000, with the Eagles having four of the top 10 finishers in the race. Keirns was the highest-finishing collegian, taking second in 14:59.59, while Broaddrick was fifth in 15:32.13. Brennym Kaelin (ninth in 15:53.95) and Timothy Zuercher (10th in 15:55.33) also ran in the top 10 in the race but didn’t qualify for nationals.

Three other Eagles who had already qualified for the NCCAA meet improved their stock in their individual events. Jamal George ran a season-best 11.22 seconds in the 100 meters, while Winston Ogletree did the same in the 400-meter hurdles, posting a time of 56.51 seconds.

Senior Larry Brown uncorked a season-best throw of 54.87 meters in the hammer to finish fifth. It was the second-best throw this season by a NCCAA competitor.