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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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Masked Rider Open Proves Successful for Drovers

Freshman Alayna Nichols prepares to make her mark in her first outdoor match of the season in Arkansas.

The Drover men’s and women’s track teams dashed into their second outdoor meet of the 2024 season. The Masked Rider Open was held at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas Friday, Mar. 22 through Saturday. 

The men’s team saw nine different athletes compete for them at this event. Senior Quintin Pennells opened the gate for USAO in the 200-meter dash, running the race in 22.06 seconds and placing 30th overall. Sophomore Hunter Dewall was the next Drover to finish in the 200-meter dash, earning him 51st place with a time of 23.33 seconds. Freshman Colby Keller was close behind Dewall, as he saw a finish of 56th overall completing his run in 24.41 seconds.  

The 400-meter dash saw some great overall performances for the Drovers. Junior Aarin Simon beat his best time of the season posting a 48.33 dash and finishing 12th overall. Simon said he plans to continue being disciplined in his dieting, practice strategies, and time management in hopes of bringing a NAIA championship for USAO in the 400-meter dash event.  

“It might seem impossible, but you’re only crazy if you think it’s impossible,” Simon said.   

Junior Tyrike Cunningham competed in the 400-meter dash for the first time this season, displaying a performance of 53.49 seconds and a 27th-place finish. This was also a season best race for freshman Ryan Joseph as he was 29th overall with a time of 54.04 seconds. 

USAO hit the track running with the relay teams as they had two separate teams take part in the 4 by 400-meter relay. Team A for the Drovers consisted of Simon, Cunningham, Joseph, and Pennells, while Team B saw Dewall, C. Keller, sophomore Daylen Huff, and senior Brayden Keller. The A team beat their previous best time of the season by seven seconds as they ran in 3.23.57 with a seventh-place finish. The B team crossed the finish line at 3.45.45 as they were in 11th place overall.  

The Drovers also had a relay team for the 4 by 100-meter relay race. This team featured Cunningham, Simon, Huff, and Pennells. Unfortunately, they were disqualified during this race and were unable to post a time for the event.  

Looking into the relay performances from this meet, Simon talked about how he believes the team is where they need to be but can improve as the season goes on.  

“I think we need more spirit and discipline to work together and improve what we already have towards our team. A bit of practicing exchanges and working on our individual goals I think would inspire us to prevail in the relays,” Simon said.  

Freshman Antonio Reyna represented the Drovers in the throwing events as he competed in the discus throw. Reyna had his farthest throw of 35.86 meters (117 feet 8 inches), which launched him into 11th place overall.  

The women’s team had three different athletes competing in the Masked Rider Open. Freshman Ah’Briana Avery represented the short sprints for USAO as she ran in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Avery darted to a season best finish in the 100-meter dash as she completed her run in 14.57 seconds, earning a 29th overall finish. She followed up this performance in the 200-meter dash by placing 44th with a time of 31.45 seconds.  

The Drovers saw freshman Aleigha Prince take the track for the 400-meter dash. In her first collegiate outdoor meet this season, she posted a time of 1.04.89 earning 29th place.  

Freshman Kyra Willett also made her debut in the outdoor season as she competed in the long jump event. Willet saw her farthest leap at 4.12 meters (13 feet 6.25 inches) which saw her finish in 15th place.  

The Drovers will be back into action soon as they will compete at the Oklahoma Baptist University Invitational in Shawnee, Okla. Friday, Mar. 29 through Saturday, Mar. 30. 


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

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About the Contributor
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