STILLWATER, Okla.-After leading ORU in every race last year, Sheilah Ndasym led the Golden Eagles again on Saturday, carding a top-20 finish in the largest cross country meet in the country, the OSU Cowboy Jamboree. Shadrack Koech finished 81st overall for the men, nearing a personal best despite the crowded and tough course on the Oklahoma State campus.
As a team, the women dropped almost an entire minute off their average time (18:54.79 vs. 19:48.88) from the first meet of the season, which is the only other 5k race of the season. The women finished ninth out of 18 teams in the university division, while the men's team finished 28th. The hosting Oklahoma State Cowboys won both the men's and women's races.
With 175 individuals competing on the women's side, Ndasym ran her best time in more than two years and was almost a minute faster than her 5k in the first meet of the season, breaking 18 minutes as she crossed the line in 17:59.96 in 19th place. Ndasym dropped more than a minute off her previous season best. Kristen Radcliff was close behind in 23rd place at 18:07.33, which is more than 30 seconds faster than her previous best at the 5k distance this year.
Freshman Samantha Watson continues to improve as her time also dropped nearly 40 seconds off her time from the season's opening meet, running 18:51.59 to finish 63rd overall.
Marta Adamiec ran 19:16.96 for 84th, while Casady Ashcraft's time of 20:18.15 put her in 122nd overall. The biggest improvement this season has to be at the legs of Erin Patterson, who closed the gap, and improved from 25:47.20 to 20:50.63 to claim 145th, and the fifth spot on the scorecard.
Tiffany Hagan ran 21:35.96 (160th) and Marrisa Thomas ran 21:59.47 (165th), also showing marked improvement from the opening meet of the year as Thomas dropped nearly 4 minutes off her time and Hagan dropped two minutes.
For the men, it was Koech who crossed the 5k mark in 15:49 and finished the first 8k race of the season in 25:30.70, faster than either 8k time posted last season. Leif Peterson got his 8k career started with a 28:05.35 (253th) finish to finish second on the team, while Ryan Masey's time of 28:19.58 put him in 266th overall.
Rounding out the finishers for the ORU men was John Chau (30:03.06), who finished 309th, Jeramy Roberts (30:15.37) in 313th and Tyler Banks (31:51.98) in 322th place.
Having run in three consecutive weekends, the Golden Eagles will take a week off before going to another one of the largest meets in the country, the Arkansas Chili Pepper Invitational on October 15. That meet will serve as the final meet before ORU hosts the Summit League Championships on October 29.