Kervy Robles, Sports Editor

Courtesy Photo / OBU Athletics

Oklahoma Baptist cross-country team hosted its lone home meet of the season, the OBU Invitational, this last Saturday at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.

Between the schools’ competitors were Central Region No. 10 East Central, Midwestern State, Dallas Baptist University, Southwestern Oklahoma State, Rogers State, Central Oklahoma and Texas Wesleyan.

Southeastern Oklahoma, Southern Nazarene, St. Gregory’s and USAO were also part of this tournament.

Abby Hoover, with an individual triumph, gave the Lady Bison a first place in the last OBU invitational during the 2015 campaign.

This season, women’s cross country wanted to follow the successful tradition.

For this reason, sophomore Emily Sechrist, who had an outstanding performance, won the five-kilometer race with a time of 18:18.81. 

“Emily’s development has benefited from Abby’s leadership—but it is deeper than that. She is also pushed daily by her teammates and [they] hold each other to high standards,” Coach Matt Kennedy said.

Sechrist’ first place is an outcome of an impeccable discipline.

“Emily’s ability to win Saturday is a result of her winning daily at practice,” Kennedy said.

“She works hard at training smart and doing all the little things right,” he said.

Despite of Sechrist’ individual victory, she prioritized the effort of her teammates to achieve the first place in contest.

“Our whole team has worked really hard to be prepared for this meet, so it was amazing to see our training paid off,” Sechrist said.

“There were a lot of things in the race that were out of our control, but we stepped up and do our best in the circumstances.”

Sophomore Sydney Lawrence came on a second place with a time of 18:21.15 for the Lady Bison and Kennedy attributed her with an enormous merit.

“Her [Sydney] work ethic is unparalleled. Sydney has been challenged early in this season but [she] has shown great resolve and I am impressed with her ability to overcome,” Kennedy said.

The second place was a surprise for Lawrence who also recognized the Lady Bison strengths during the competition.

“I thought I could place in the top 10, but definitely was not expecting coming on second,” Lawrence said.

“We have a lot of depth which can sometimes be forgotten about when spectators watch a race. The first two-three [spots] are great, but the four and five spots are what make the difference, they have also made a fantastic job.”

The fourth and fifth spots are given to freshmen Kandance Standridge and Daisy VanMeter, who came in fifth and 13th place respectively.

“I have a job to do every race. Whatever the circumstance is, to choose team over pain and to leave it al on the course,” Standridge said.

“Freshmen or senior that is our expectation, that is our goal, and that is why we are good.”

Although the Lady Bison claimed as champions in the OBU invitational, VanMeter said it was not an easy race and she also set some goals for the team in future events.

“It was a tough contest against top teams we have not competed with this season. As a team I think we all expect to put in our best effort and win NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) nationals,” VanMeter said.

The Lady Bison will participate in the Great American Conference Meet hosted by Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, OK October 22th.

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