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Diaz makes season debut, helps lead OC to 4x800 win at OBU meet

OC's Brennym Kaelin (left) slows as Roberto Diaz (right) accelerates after taking a handoff from Kaelin in the 4x800-meter relay on Saturday at the Oklahoma Baptist Open. The Eagles won the race.
OC's Brennym Kaelin (left) slows as Roberto Diaz (right) accelerates after taking a handoff from Kaelin in the 4x800-meter relay on Saturday at the Oklahoma Baptist Open. The Eagles won the race.

SHAWNEE, Okla. (March 29, 2014) – Middle-distance stalwart Roberto Diaz made his 2014 outdoor track and field debut on Saturday, helping lead Oklahoma Christian to victory in the 4x800-meter relay at the Oklahoma Baptist Open.

Austin Kruzich (200 meters), Winston Ogletree (400 meters), Bryant Keirns (3,000-meter steeplechase), Larry Brown (hammer) and the Eagles’ 4x100-meter relay team joined the 4x800-meter squad of Brayden Barrientez, Brennym Kaelin, Diaz and Kyle Broaddrick in posting qualifying times or marks for the National Christian College Athletic Association Championships.

Barrientez, a senior, is back for his final season of outdoor track eligibility, while Diaz has recovered from an injury which forced him to sit out during the indoor season. Barrientez is a 10-time All-American, while Diaz has earned All-America honors six times, so it’s not surprising they provided immediate firepower to the Eagles’ ranks.

With Barrientez running the leadoff leg, followed by Kaelin, Diaz and Broaddrick, the Eagles posted a 4x800 time of 8:02.93, outdistancing the second-place team from St. Gregory’s by 1.34 seconds. It was the third-fastest time in the NCCAA so far this spring.

Kruzich ran 12th in a field of 22 in the 200, finishing in 22.89 seconds, while fellow sprinter Ogletree took sixth in the 400 with a time of 56.98 seconds. Ogletree also ran on the 4x100 relay team, which posted a time of 44.29 seconds.

Keirns, who finished fifth in the steeplechase at last year’s NCCAA meet, ran in the event on Saturday for the first time this spring and took fourth in a strong eight-man field, finishing in 9:39.82.

Brown didn’t post a season-best mark in the hammer, but finished second among four competitors in the hammer with a top throw of 50.46 meters. The only competitor who beat him was a thrower from a NCAA Division I program.