OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 15, 2013) – After recording two wins and a runner-up finish in Oklahoma Christian’s opening meet of the indoor track and field season, Brayden Barrientez was named Tuesday as the National Christian College Athletic Association’s men’s student-athlete of the week.
Barrientez, a senior from Wichita, Kan., helped OC sweep the NCCAA weekly track honors. OC sophomore sprinter Maegan Cowan received a share of the women’s award.
On Friday at the Missouri Southern Open Invitational in Joplin, Mo., Barrientez anchored Oklahoma Christian's distance medley relay team, which won in 10:30.99, outdueling a squad from the host school.
On Saturday, in a field of 27 runners, he won the mile by more than six seconds, finishing in 4:16.26. He beat runners from two ranked NCAA Division II squads, No. 13 Missouri Southern and No. 19 Pittsburg State (Kan.), as well as several members of OC’s squad, which bested numerous ranked Division II teams during the cross country season but wasn’t eligible for the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association rankings.
Barrientez followed up his mile win with a second-place finish (among 23 runners) in the 800 meters, leading in the stretch before being caught at the wire. His time was 1:57.41, .06 behind the winner, Miles Migliara of Missouri Southern.
“Brayden had a great opening meet,” OC assistant coach Wade Miller said. “He was able to capitalize on the hard work he put in over the Christmas break. We still have some work to do, but it’s a promising start to the season.”
The weekly honor is the second in Barrientez’s career. Last season, he was named once as the Sooner Athletic Conference indoor track athlete of the week.
OC now is a member of the Heartland Conference, which does not present a weekly track award.
Last month, OC thrower Larry Brown took the NCCAA men’s weekly honor following a meet during which a handful of OC field athletes competed. So far during the 2012-13 school year, 10 OC student-athletes have won NCCAA student-athlete of the week honors a combined 13 times in eight sports.