JOPLIN, Mo. (Sept. 21, 2013) – Roberto Diaz finished sixth and Bryant Keirns was 11th, leading Oklahoma Christian to a seventh-place team finish on Saturday morning in the Missouri Southern Stampede.
In the Eagles’ first eight-kilometer race of the cross country season, Diaz, a junior from Austin, Texas, posted a time of 25:06.85, while Keirns, a sophomore from Wichita, Kan., was close behind in 25:17.37.
The Eagles had a team score of 165, despite the absence of two of their top five runners, Timothy Zuercher and Kyle Broaddrick. In the team race, OC finished ahead of two Heartland Conference rivals, Newman (11th) and Arkansas-Fort Smith (14th).
“We had some guys really step up, knowing that we weren’t at full strength,” OC coach Wade Miller said. “I’m proud of the way they performed in the face of adversity.”
Besides Diaz and Keirns, two other OC runners – Brennym Kaelin and Evan Durrill – finished in the upper half of the 175-man field. Kaelin was 35th in 26:06.86 while Durrill was 55th in 26:28.91.
Nicholas Stoots rounded out OC’s scorers, finishing 99th in 27:09.40, while Trent Stephens was 122nd in 27:42.37.
Race host Missouri Southern, ranked No. 7 in NCAA Division II, won the team competition with a score of 56. Missouri Southern’s Eric Schott took top individual honors with a time of 24:22.58.