Kaumba Runs Last Cross Country Race in Shawnee Saturday
November 2, 2004
Her team a prohibitive favorite to win the Sooner Athletic Conference and Region VI cross country meet Saturday at Shawnee's Gordon Cooper Technology Center, Mirriam Kaumba will be making her farewell cross country run on the local level.
Kaumba, a senior from Chingola, Zambia, may be the best female runner Shawnee has ever seen.
"Mirriam works very hard at being one of the best runners in the world," said Bison coach Ford Mastin. "Her best cross country time this year would have won the Big 12 championships last week. We can find only three girls in America that have a faster time than Mirriam. Everywhere we go, people watch her with awe, respect, and sincere appreciation."
Kaumba, the defending NAIA, Region VI and SAC cross country champion, has won her last 12 races, including wins this season over NCAA Division I fields at Oklahoma State and the University of Arkansas.
OBU's first female cross country national champion, Kaumba leads a pack of Lady Bison who are ranked fourth in the NAIA and could bring some hardware back to Oklahoma from this year's national meet.
Kyta Ferrer, Becka Brock, Chandra Huckabay and the freshmen twins Katie and Kelsey Engstrom, along with Sarah Hale, give OBU a solid block. The team is ranked fourth nationally and won its last meet, the Mid-States Classic, without Kaumba. No other Region VI team is ranked as of Wednesday.
The Bison also are a favorite, but may still have something to prove. Oklahoma Christian and Wayland Baptist eked out a better performance than the Bison on this same course in the Bison Invitational.
While OC and WBU used that meet to vault into the Top 25, hey have since fallen out of the rankings while OBU has re-established itself with improvements by Daniel Ellis, Landon Willets, Theron Stolzfus, Cole Tunnell, Josiah White, David Matuschak and Jacob Wright.
Race time for the women is 9:30 a.m., followed by the men shortly after the conclusion of the women's race.