Mirriam Kaumba competed on another level and the Oklahoma Baptist University's men's cross country team flexed some muscle Saturday at Oklahoma State University's Cowboy Jamboree Saturday.
Kaumba didn't run with her teammates in the College/Junior College division Saturday as Head Coach Ford Mastin opted to continue her improvement by testing her against the NCAA field, including Oklahoma State, Georgetown, Kansas State, Wichita State, Lamar, Texas Tech, Texas Christian, Tulsa and Oral Roberts.
Kaumba won easily, out-distancing Butler Community College's Diane Nukuri by 19 seconds at 17:02. The nearest NCAA runner was 34 seconds off the pace the closest Big 12 runner, Texas Tech's Irene Kamayo, was 44 seconds back.
The sixth-ranked Lady Bison still managed a second place finish without their leader, following only NCAA Division II power Harding. Twins Kelsey and Katie Engstrom led OBU's effort with sixth- (19:17) and 10th-place (19:35) finishes.
Becka Brock came in 17th at 19:52, followed by Kyta Ferrer at 20:08 in 30th place and Katy Rader in 47th at 20:35. Also for OBU, Chandra Huckabay was 64th (20:57) and Sarah Hale was 67th (21:00).
OBU didn't need Kaumba to finish ahead of 15 other teams including region foes Southern Nazarene, Oklahoma Christian, Northwood and Wayland Baptist and No. 22 Lindenwood.
But the big day probably belonged to the Bison. A week after Wayland Baptist and Oklahoma Christian vaulted themselves ahead of OBU with first- and second-place finishes, respectively, ahead of the Bison at OBU's home meet, the Bison bounced back for a crucial comeback.
The 25th-ranked Bison finished third behind No. 18 Lindenwood and New Mexico Highlands, but beat No. 24 Wayland Baptist and No. 20 Oklahoma Christian, as well as region foes Northwood, Southern Nazarene and St. Gregory's.
Matt Blackowl ran unattached as he tried to regroup from injury and finished third overall, but his score didn't count for the team. Had his score counted, OBU would have won the meet.
Daniel Ellis finished second overall with a time of 25:50 on the 8000-meter course. Landon Willets was seventh.
Theron Stoltzfus was 17th at 26:41, Cole Tunnell was 48th at 27:55 and David Matuschak finished out the scoring for OBU in 55th at 28 minutes flat. Also for the Bison, Nathan Battershell was 62nd (28:07) and Josiah White was 69th (28:18).
OBU returns to action Oct. 15 at the Mid-States Classic in Winfield, Kan.