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Hammer leads way as Lady Eagles finish 5th at UCO Land Run

OC freshman Layne Hammer runs Saturday morning in the UCO Land Run. Hammer led the Lady Eagles with a 12th-place individual finish.
OC freshman Layne Hammer runs Saturday morning in the UCO Land Run. Hammer led the Lady Eagles with a 12th-place individual finish.

EDMOND, Okla. (Sept. 7, 2013) – Freshman Layne Hammer finished 12th individually and three other Oklahoma Christian runners recorded personal-best times as the Lady Eagles opened the cross country season on Saturday morning with a fifth-place finish at the Central Oklahoma Land Run.

Hammer covered the five-kilometer course at Edmond Santa Fe High School in 20:09.91. Among runners from Heartland Conference schools, Hammer finished fourth, behind two competitors from Rogers State and another from Arkansas-Fort Smith.

“It was a good way to open her career up,” OC coach Wade Miller said of Hammer. “She’s a really good runner and I think we’ve got more to come.”

The Lady Eagles finished fifth in the 11-team field with a team score of 127.

OC sophomore Tara Lewis, the team’s top returning runner, was 18th in the 96-woman field with a time of 20:22.75. Another returning runner, sophomore Maria Sargent, ran a strong race to finish 38th in 21:10.01, a personal-best 5K time by 30 seconds.

Finishing right behind Sargent, in 39th and 40th place, respectively, were OC freshman Maci Rich (21:17.81) and Katie Jones (21:20.20). Both were personal-best times.

“We’ve definitely been training hard,” Miller said. “I think everybody had a pretty good summer, so it’s good to see that translate into that first race. Being the first race, it’s definitely kind of a gauge for where our fitness is and we’ll go from here. We definitely have some things to work on, but it’s good to get a baseline and figure out where you’re at.”

Two other OC runners, freshman Sarah Cobb and junior Tavia Hoheisel, started the race but did not finish.

Oklahoma Baptist’s Hannah Helker won the race with a time of 17:47.36, almost 72 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. OBU won the team race with a score of 31, followed by Rogers State (71), UCO (78), Oklahoma City University (96), OC and another Heartland Conference school, Arkansas-Fort Smith (132).