Bartlesville, OK (Vocus) November 22, 2010
The men and women on the cross-country team at OKWU have a leg up on running. Both teams recently won the MCAC conference championships in Lawrence, Kansas.
The women traveled to Vancouver, WA to compete for the NAIA national championship. This is the first time the entire Lady Eagles team has qualified. Coach Gary said, “I really think we have finished the season with a quality performance. There were a lot of very strong teams there.”
The coach said they are always ready to show their best. “Race talk is always the best part for the girls because they always want me to do or say something funny. My favorite quote to them is 'when you get tired, run faster' and they look forward to hearing that every time before they run. I won't disappoint them by changing that.”
At the MCAC championship meet, senior David Rannabagar took an individual win for the men, racing the 8K with the third fastest time in the school history (the other two also owned by him). There were also three men in the first team all conference: David, senior James Hensel and freshman Austin Blain.
On the women's side, the Eagles dominated the championships, winning by 29-clear points. Freshman Allie Antrim, junior Genevieve Estes and senior Micah Jenner were named to the first team all conference and junior Lisa Lord was named to the second team all conference. These four were in the top ten finishers.
The Lady Eagles are now ranked as a No.1 MCAC team.
The MCAC conference named Coach Smith the conference coach of the year, twice, Coach of the year for the women and for the men. Yet the highlight of the season so far for Smith has been at the NCCAA Nationals. The men’s team finished 9th out of 28 schools.
“As far as the team accomplishment, I would say that both teams were amazing this season. I set the bar really high at the beginning of the season, with the focus on running for Christ at all times. The teams used this as the motivation to do well.
“We came in a little later than I wanted after the summer break, so I had to rush some of the workouts to get them ready. However, the transition was remarkable and the team adapted well to the 6 a.m. and the 3:30 p.m. practice sessions daily. To be honest, I had no doubt that we would win conference this year,” Smith said.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University is a four-year, Christian university of the liberal arts and sciences that is fully accredited by the North Central Association. OKWU also receives professional accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). It is a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities as well as the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Association of Oklahoma Independent Colleges and Universities.
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