OCU's 2017 NAIA women's indoor track and field runner-up
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Oklahoma City University women's track and field team turned in a school-best second-place finish at the NAIA Indoor Championships Saturday at David E. Walker Track.
Aminat Olowora led OCU with two individual national titles in the one mile and the 3,000 meters to collect the most valuable performer award. She was also a member of the 3200-meter relay and distance medley relay teams who won NAIA championships as well. Seven runners from OCU garnered all-American honors.
As a team, the Stars finished with 59 points, 16 shy of first-place team Indiana Tech as every Oklahoma City athlete who participated in the finals of their respective events finished in the top 10.
"The women put forth an amazing effort," OCU track and field head coach Matt Aguero said. "To score 59 points with only eight athletes is impressive."
Olowora, a junior from Lagos, Nigeria, won the one-mile run in 4 minutes, 48.01 seconds to set a new school record for OCU. Olowora also took home gold in the 3,000 meters with a final time of 9:46.78. The four individual titles matches an NAIA record set by Akela Jones of Oklahoma Baptist in 2014.
"The mile was the first event of the day, and it really set the tone for us," Aguero said. "Brooke Cassar missed the 3,000 yesterday due to having the flu, but gave an inspiring effort today to finish 10th in the mile. In the same race Aminat had the best finishing kick I have ever seen. She was behind by 10 seconds with 400 meters to go and came back to win. Their performances really fired up and inspired their teammates."
Cassar, a senior from Woonona, New South Wales, Australia, provided OCU with a 10th-place finish in the mile with a final time of 5:20.62.
The Stars set school records in four events including both relays. The combination of Sara Moore, Sheridan Hoyer, Stefani Nell and Olowora won the 3200-meter relay in a time of 9:11.95 on Friday and followed it up with a distance medley relay title. In the distance medley realay, OCU ran a time of 11:51.57 and won the race by over two seconds. Alexis Metoyer competed in the prelims for the DMR as well and garnered all-American honors along with her other four teammates.
Moore, a senior from Omagh, Ireland, became a six-time indoor track and field all-American after finishing with a time of 2:55.24 to grab third place in the 1,000.
Lydia Mato and Michaela Werner both competed in the 5,000 meters for the Stars and finished with times of 17.24.20 and 17:31.08 to finish third and sixth place, respectively. Mato, a senior out of Dudaso, Ghana, and Werner, a junior from Grove, Okla., both ran faster than the previous school record and became all-Americans. Mato also ran in the 3000-meters and finished in sixth place with a time of 9:57.62.
"With prelims and finals, Sara ran six races and Aminat ran seven over the past three days," Aguero said. "Lydia Mato competed in 3000, and then came back with only 40 minutes later to run in the 5,000. We asked a lot from these girls, and they really stepped up."