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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Four Broken Records and One National Qualifier

Aarin Simon (left) and Tyrike Cunningham compete in the relay portion of the meet in Arkansas.

USAO men’s and women’s track and field teams sprinted into their opening outdoor season track meet Saturday, Mar. 16 at the Harding University Multi Invitational in Searcy, Arkansas. Their performances saw multiple program records broken and one individual qualifying for the 2024 NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships.  

Savannah Creech and Ah’Briana Avery took over the running portion of the track meet for USAO. Creech had a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter run, posting a time of 1:03 minutes. She also competed in the 200-meter dash completing the race in 28.23 seconds and finishing eleventh. Avery also ran the 200-meter dash and placed thirteenth in the event with a time of 31.43 seconds. The 100-meter dash was the other event Avery competed in, sprinting to a ninth-place finish in 14.89 seconds.  

The women’s field team came out with a bang, as two women broke three of USAO’s team records. Cameryn McColley jumped into the record books with her second-place performance where she had a jump of 4.6 meters in the long jump. McColley followed up this by earning USAO’s freshman record in the high jump event, after leaping 1.51 meters, placing fourth overall at the meet.  

The throwing department for the Drovers propelled themselves to some new program records as well. Laura Barrios Bardi saw her name etched in the record book after throwing the discus 31.34 meters. This throw earned her a seventh-place finish overall. Alayna Nichols led the Drovers in the shotput, placing sixth overall at the meet. Her farthest throw was 10.06 meters, which was just 0.04 meters away from breaking USAO’s record. Barrios Bardi had the second-best shotput throw from the Drovers, posting a length of 9.47 meters and an eighth-place finish. McKayla Stuckey was the third and final shotput thrower for USAO, placing eleventh and recording 6.2 meters on the throw. 

The men’s team dominated the track with Aarin Simon being the highlight runner for the team. Simon competed in the 400-meter dash, where he ran a lightning-fast time of 48.38 seconds. Not only did this earn him a second-place finish overall, but a spot in the NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Ryan Joseph was the other Drover to compete in the 400-meter dash, where he saw a seventh-place finish overall with a time of 54.56. 

The Drovers saw four runners compete in the 100-meter dash with Tyrike Cunningham being the first one across the finish line. Cunningham ran an 11.05 second run, earning a seventh-place finish overall. Omario Johnson was the next runner, completing it with a time of 11.2 seconds and a tenth-place finish. Daylen Huff was the 13th runner to finish as he completed it in 11.6 seconds. Colby Keller ran a 12.28 second 100-meter dash, placing him 21st.  

Crispin Mbii made his first individual appearance of the day in the 200-meter dash. He was the fastest from USAO as he dashed into 14th place with a time of 23.49 seconds. Huff was close behind him as his time was 23.97 seconds and a 16th-place finish. Brayden Keller was just a tenth of a second slower than Huff, as he ran the race in 24.05 seconds and finished 19th overall.  

The Drovers also competed in two different relay races, which featured the 4 by 100-meter relay and the 4 by 400-meter relay. In the 4 by 100-meter relay, Simon, Joseph, Cunningham, and B. Keller represented the team. They had a historic performance as they finished the team run in 41.96 seconds, earning them USAO’s program record for the event. The 4 by 400 team also earned second place overall, posting their finished time at 4:14 minutes.  

Antonio Reyna represented the men’s throwing team and competed in shotput. His farthest throw of the day was 36.42 meters which earned him ninth place in the Harding Invitational.  

After a successful day for both teams, they will prepare for their next track and field meet at Texas Tech University for the Masked Rider Opener Friday, Mar. 22 through Saturday in Lubbock, Texas. 


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