The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Ozarks Invitational Sets Pace for Final Meet of the Season

USAO XC prepares for their final meet Saturday, Oct. 21 in Kansas
Laura Barrios Bardi
USAO’s men’s XC team huddle together before their race in Arkansas.

USAO’s cross country men’s and women’s teams battled in Clarksville, Ark. at the University of the Ozarks Invitational, where the men competed in an 8K run and the women competed in a 5k run. This competition saw the men’s team place 6th out of seven teams, and the women’s team did not have a team score. 

Tyrike Cunningham, Aarin Simon, Quintin Pennells, Ryan Joseph, Colby Keller, and Brayden Keller competed for the Drovers. 

Cunningham had the fastest time out of the Drovers, placing 50th overall. His time was 32:46.7 minutes, beating his best time of the season by over three minutes. Less than a second behind him was Simon, who finished the race in 32:47.4 minutes. This performance earned him a 51st overall finish, and his fastest time of the season by exactly one second. 

Pennells placed third out of his Drover teammates with a time of 36:46 minutes. This was earned him a 59th overall placement in the event and was his best time of the season by over one minute. Joseph was not far behind Pennells as he placed 63rd overall at the meet with a time of 37:47.

C. Keller had the next fastest time on the team with a 66th overall finish. His time was 39:05 minutes, which beat his own season best by over five minutes. B. Keller ran at the event and had a time of 44:46, which placed him in 73rd place.

Pennells said he was proud of how his team performed at the meet, with multiple runners setting a new personal best time. He described the University of the Ozark’s course as being well balanced, saying it had different hills and the runners ran on grass, gravel, and sand. He said he is also looking forward to their next cross-country meet. 

“We have one last meet this year, so you know what they say, the last one is the best one,” Pennells said. 

The women’s team also saw success as all three of their runners had their best times of the season. Their team consisted of Trinity Albao-Cozad, Savannah Creech, and Chelsea Fuston for this competition. 

Albao-Cozad had the quickest run for USAO as she posted a time of 24:25, which beat her season best by one minute and six seconds. This performance earned her a 51st place finish overall.  

Creech was shortly behind as she finished the race with a time of 25:06 minutes. She placed 53rd against all runners and was able to beat her season best time by two and a half minutes.  

Fuston had a 68th overall finish after she ran her race in 30:02 minutes. This effort was able to improve her season best time by over one and a half minutes. 

The Drover men’s and women’s cross-country teams will run at the NAIA Middle States Classic Saturday, Oct. 21, which will be their last competition for the 2023 season. This cross-country meet will be hosted by Southwestern College located in Winfield, Kan. 


Gary Jackson is a third-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Gary Jackson
Gary Jackson, Managing Editor
Gary is a fourth-year communication major from Kingston. He works as a resident assistant (RA). Gary began writing for The Trend in January 2022, and has interned with the Madill Record and Marietta Monitor newspapers. When Gary isn’t attending class and working, you can watch him making the game-winning catch at the ultimate frisbee game, hanging out with friends, or visiting with his family. Experience with The Trend: Managing Editor: May 2024 - present Sports Editor: Nov. 2023 - Apr. 2024 Senior Writer: Dec. 2022 - Nov. 2023 Contributing Writer: Jan. 2022 - Dec. 2022
Laura Barrios Bardi
Laura Barrios Bardi, Contributing Photographer
Laura Barrios Bardi a third-year art major from El Paso, TX. Laura currently works for USAO's Sports Information Department as a photographer. She is also a member of USAO's track and field team. Her hobbies include stargazing, spending time with friends, and working towards elevating her photography skills.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Photographer: Nov. 2022 - present