TULSA, Okla. – Junior Samantha Watson led from start to finish to win the women’s 5k race, while sophomore David Batchelder finished second in the men’s race to open the season at the Bob Timmons Classic.
Scored as a double-duel format, the ORU women lost to Kansas 43-20 and lost to UMKC 38-23. The ORU men fell 39-22 to KU and were edged 34-24 by UMKC.
Coach Evan Blackburn said going into the race that Watson was in the best shape of her career and she proved him right as she dropped nearly a minute off her time from the same meet a year ago and moved up from fourth to earn medalist honors at 18:34.88. She won the race over three Kansas runners by nearly 45 seconds.
In her first collegiate race, freshman Abby Hoover was second for the Golden Eagles and finished 16th overall in 20:03.86. Megan Denzin improved two minutes over her time from 2012 to finish 40th at 22:42.79. Freshmen Cat Klarich (25:43.20, 54th), Hannah Turnbow (26:09.89, 57th) and Grace Fuentes (29:38.72, 63rd), rounded out the ORU finishers.
In the men’s race, sophomores Batchelder and Jonathan Harper both showed vast improvement over a year ago, improving more than a minute each. Batchelder ran 19:38.34 to card the runner-up finish by a mere four seconds, while Harper ran 19:47.04 and took sixth overall. Matt Bannon (21:29.30, 30th), Leif Peterson (21:38.88, 33rd) and Ryan Masey (22:07.79, 37th) ran as a pack for the majority of the race. John Bradford (23:34.31) finished 49th to round out the ORU finishers.
ORU will be back in action next week as they travel to Wichita for the J.K. Gold Classic on September 7.