MARION, Ind. (May 26, 2012) - Oklahoma Christian's Silas Kisorio capped his remarkable career with two more event titles and earned Most Outstanding Performer honors on Saturday, the final day of the NAIA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Kisorio, a senior from Eldoret, Kenya, set a new NAIA meet record in winning the 1,500 meters in 3:41.39. It was his third straight NAIA win in that event. Later in the afternoon, he took the 800-meter title as well for the fourth straight year, finishing in 1:47.98.
During his four track and cross country seasons at OC, Kisorio won 12 NAIA individual titles (the most in OC history), one team championship (last fall in cross country) and earned NAIA All-America status 21 times (also an OC record).
Led by Kisorio, OC finished 10th in the team standings with 27 points. Sixty-seven teams scored in the meet. Shorter (Ga.) won the title with 93 points.
"Silas was just amazing," OC head coach Randy Heath said. "Just amazing. What a way to close out his collegiate career. It's real fitting that he won the award. He is very deserving. Everybody appreciates his talents."
In the 1,500, both Kisorio and teammate Brayden Barrientez started fast. Kisorio went straight to the lead and held it the entire race. Barrientez, a junior from Haysville, Kan., "hung on as long as he could," Heath said, "but he gradually fell back at the end," finishing eighth in 3:50.68 but still earning All-America status.
Kisorio finished more than five seconds ahead of second-place Kennedy Kithuka of Wayland Baptist (Texas), who had a time of 3:46.72. A third Sooner Athletic Conference runner, Adam Godwin of Oklahoma Baptist, was third in 3:47.17, giving the SAC four of the eight All-America spots from the event.
Kisorio broke the previous NAIA meet record of 3:43.00, set by Alexis Sharangabo of Brevard (N.C.) in 2001.
"Silas just blistered it," Heath said. "He ran really good."
In the 800, Kisorio covered the first 400 meters in about 54 seconds, "but he just cranked the last 400," Heath said. Joshua Kosgei of Northwood (Texas) was second in 1:48.37
Kisorio and Barrientez weren't OC's only All-America performers Saturday. Brandon Jackson finished eighth in the triple jump with a mark of 48 feet, ½ inch (14.64 meters), a season-best for the senior from Tecumseh, Kan. Ethan Dejongh of Fresno Pacific (Calif.) won the event with a mark of 16.13 meters.
David McWilliams, who earned All-America status in the 10,000 meters on Thursday with a seventh-place finish, almost duplicated that effort in the marathon but the junior from Naperville, Ill., finished ninth in 2:35:55, one shot shy of All-America status. OC's Joseph Zarazua, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, was 24th out of 54 runners in the event in 2:47:26.
"David ran an outstanding race," Heath said. "He just kept going despite trouble with his shoulder. Joseph did a good job to finish out. There were a lot of good runners ahead of them."
OC finished in the top 10 despite injuries to two competitors, 110-meter hurdler Renaldo Garrett and 1,500-meter runner Nathan Mesta, who had the potential to score more team points for the Eagles. Garrett wasn't able to compete because of an injured hamstring while Mesta - second in the 1,500 last year behind Kisorio while running for Kansas Wesleyan - aggravated an Achilles' tendon injury during a preliminary heat on Thursday.
"For our last meet, we did as well as we could do," Heath said. "We had a few up and downs. It's never a perfect meet for everyone but everyone did their best. "
The meet was the last competitive event for OC as a member of the NAIA. OC, which has been an NAIA member since the 1960s, is applying for membership in NCAA Division II for the 2012-13 school year.