WICHITA FALLS, Texas (Sept. 5, 2013) – Oklahoma Christian’s men’s cross country team started the 2013 season the same way it ended the 2012 campaign – by winning a race.
The Eagles, who have won a national championship each of the past two years, took top honors on Thursday night in the Strohman Dental/Midwestern State Stampede.
Roberto Diaz finished second overall and Bryant Keirns was third as OC posted a team score of 45 to finish well ahead of Heartland Conference rival Dallas Baptist (Texas), a team that was the league’s co-champion in 2012 but lost three times to OC, including at the National Christian College Athletic Association Championship, in which OC won the team title.
On Thursday, the Patriots posted a team score of 67. Five teams competed in the meet, along with a handful of unattached runners.
“It was a decent start to the year,” OC coach Wade Miller said. “I saw some good things but we were definitely rusty. We have a long way to go.”
Diaz, a junior who was a six-time NCCAA All-American in cross country and track last season, posted a time of 19:15.0. He finished just ahead of Keirns, a sophomore who had a time of 19:15.6. Juan Joel Pacheco Orozco, running unattached, won in 19:01.9.
Sophomore Timothy Zuercher gave the Eagles a third top-10 finisher in the 49-man race, taking 10th in 19:59.4 Two freshmen, Kyle Broaddrick and Evan Durrill, rounded out OC’s top five, posting times of 20:33.5 and 20:36.0, to finish 14th and 16th, respectively.
Nick Stoots (22nd in 21:03.6) and Trent Stephens (27th in 21:37.9) rounded out the OC runners in the race.
After DBU, East Central took third in the team race with a score of 80, followed by Angelo State (Texas) with 95 and Clarendon (Texas) College with 158.
The Eagles will have a 16-day break before their next meet, the Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo., on Sept. 21.