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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Freshman runner leads Lady Eagles

Friday, October 5, 2007  
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By Stefanie Trent

With one collegiate victory under her belt, Sylvia Chirchir has coaches and runners excited about the mark she could leave on Oklahoma Christian University’s cross country program.

“She is training hard and wants to do even better. I want the team to step up and meet Sylvia’s times,” Strohman said. “She inspires them to train hard and might become the best runner in Oklahoma Christian history.”

Last Saturday, Chirchir ran unattached in the university division of the Oklahoma State University Cowboy Jamboree. She placed 11th among runners from Division I and II schools.

She earned her first collegiate victory in Oklahoma Christian’s first race of the year in the University of Central Oklahoma Land Run.

With this being a rebuilding year for the team, Chirchir has stood out as one of the leaders.

“The team was excited when Sylvia came and is really enjoying having her as part of the team,” coach Wayne Strohman said.

For many international students, the journey to America is not always easy. Chirchir’s experience proved much the same.

“When she came over here, the original flight filled up, and so then she got on a flight two days later,” Strohman said. “She then got stuck in Chicago, Ill., at O’Hara International Airport after missing a connecting flight and had to stay there. She finally got here the Wednesday at noon after missing the first two days of classes.

“The first two weeks were really difficult. The confusion wares after two weeks.”

During the time of confusion, Chirchir said many of her fellow teammates helped her out.

“The girls on the team have really helped out with getting to classes and going to the store and picking where to go to church,” Chirchir said.

The decision to come to Oklahoma Christian did not come easily for Chirchir. She already knew about the cross country program since Oklahoma Christian recruited her brother David. He decided to attend Oklahoma State University so she does have some support close to her.

“My teammates and coaches and brothers and people at Memorial Road Church of Christ are my biggest supporters,” Chirchir said.
Chirchir runs for a young Lady Eagle’s cross country team growing up in a hurry this season. There are runners already being recruited for next year.

“Some more international students are coming at semester break to join the cross country team. One of them is from Kenya like Sylvia,” Strohman said.

Oklahoma Christian appealed to Chirchir because of its faith-based background. She said she enjoys the Bible classes offered.

“It is a good school with Christian foundations so that I could become my best,” Chirchir said. “My favorite class is my bible class.”

Chirchir studies journalism at Oklahoma Christian and hopes to write for a newspaper. Her goals while attending the university are to improve her times in cross country and track. She runs the 3,000 meters for the Lady Eagles track and field team.

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