Oklahoma Baptist’s 4x800 relay teams splashed on the scene with a two qualifying times during a strong showing at the Drake Relays this weekend.
Also for the Bison, Cordell Baker finished second in the 10,000 meters with a school record and the NAIA’s fourth-best time at 29:53.71. He beat five runners from the Southeastern Conference and two others from the Big 12. The old OBU record was Peter Schouw’s 3:090.05 in 1992.
“Peter Schouw was a very good OBU runner,” said OBU Coach Ford Mastin. “That’s an old record Cordell broke and he really ran well.”
Neither the Bison nor Lady Bison had qualified in the 4x800 relay until this weekend, when OBU turned in the best women’s 4x800 relay and the second-best men’s time in the NAIA this year.
“We knew our first leg would get out,” said Helker. “We wanted our second two to keep it in there so that I would have a chance. My coach tells me to be patient and wait for it, but I can't do that. She was pretty far out, but I caught up to her and said 'if I just stay here I will be fine.' I was able to kick it in the end. With 200 meters so I decided to kick. I got a lot of lactic acid built up and it tightened and I just hoped she wouldn't catch me.”
Warrior, Drew, Helker and Chambers also won the 4x400 relay in 3:36.27.
“Winning three relays at Drake is a big accomplishment,” said OBU Coach Ford Mastin.
Tracey also improved on her NAIA No. 1 ranking in the 400 hurdles at 57.89 seconds, trimming more than a second off her time.
Caleb Neal placed 11th in the decathlon with the No. 6 score in the nation with 6,245 points.
Ross Harlan moved up to sixth in the NAIA with his 53.22 time in the 400 meter hurdles.
Adam Godwin had a qualifying time in the 1500 meters, finishing fourth at 3:54.04, but Godwin has a better time in that event this season.
OBU returns to action Saturday with the Sooner Athletic Conference Championships on its home track.