Oklahoma Baptist University’s Jonathan Hilton was the hero of the day, successfully defending his national championship in the decathlon Friday before the men’s 4x800 relay team claimed its own national title in a huge upset at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championship.

Hilton, a senior from Buhler, Kan., finished with 7,233 points in capturing his second championship as the NAIA’s greatest athlete. It’s a title Hilton has won twice now and one also shared by the likes of Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, who won the NAIA decathlon in 1971 with Graceland College.


 Oklahoma Baptist University’s Jonathan Hilton was the hero of the day, successfully defending his national championship in the decathlon Friday before the men’s 4x800 relay team claimed its own national title in a huge upset at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championship.
Hilton, a senior from Buhler, Kan., finished with 7,233 points in capturing his second championship as the NAIA’s greatest athlete. It’s a title Hilton has won twice now and one also shared by the likes of Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, who won the NAIA decathlon in 1971 with Graceland College.
In third place heading into Friday’s final five events, Hilton started his day by placing second in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.17. He then won the discus with a throw of 137-2 and tied for first in the pole vault at 14-11.
Hilton was fifth in the javelin with a throw of 168-6 and capped the win with a second place in the 1,500 meters, finishing in 4:36.34.
OBU’s Jared Huckabee was seventh in the decathlon and joined with Hilton to give the Bison their first 12 points of the meet. Huckabee on Friday was seventh in the 110 hurdles (16.10), 10th in the discus (105-10), fifth in the pole vault (13-7.25), 11th in the javelin (137-8) and fifth in the 1,500 (4:46.19).
Abby Lewis finished seventh in the heptathlon with 4,380 points, scoring two points for the Lady Bison. She was fourth in the 800 meters at 2:25.33, seventh in the long jump at 5-1 and eighth in the javelin at 94-3.
Nick Blackwell, Justin Stroup, Billy Christy and Andre Thomas captured the 4x800 relay in OBU’s first attempt at points on the track. Ranked 16th and with a previous season best of 7:47.31, the squad came in at 7:26.33, breaking the school record.
For a program defined by its relay success, Blackwell, Stroup, Christy and Thomas are the first Bison team to ever win an outdoor 4x800 relay national title. None of those are seniors and Stroup is the only junior.
Thomas, a freshman, had the best semifinal time in the open 800 meters, advancing him to the finals. His 1:51.11 matched the winning time from last year’s finals.
The women’s 4x100 relay team of Yesenia Avila, Optimum Baker, Andrea Melontree and Alyssa Montegut was fourth, coming in at 9:07.02.
Marissa Moseley advanced to the finals of the women’s 400 meters, coming in with the third-fastest semifinal time of 55.54.
Moseley, Shondia Drew, Nicole Cummings and Verone Chambers advanced to the finals of the women’s 4x100 relay with the fifth-best semifinal time of 47.03 seconds.
Cummings finished 13th in the triple jump, clearing 36 feet, 3.5 inches.
Chambers moved to the finals of the women’s 400 hurdles with the best semifinal time of 59.46 seconds. Baker was 16th and did not move forward, timed at 1:08.06.
The Lady Bison 4x400 relay team of Moseley, Sarah Patterson, Chambers and Drew finished in 3:43.78, winning their heat and moving into the finals with the best time.
Jared Jackson, Omari Blair, Wit Williams and Ethan Mignard qualified for the finals in the men’s 4x100 relay with a time of 40.80 seconds, which was the fifth-fastest time in the semis.
Mignard, Adam Betterton, Pierien Iniss and Williams advanced OBU into the finals of the 4x400 relay with the fifth-best time — 3:12.64.
Blair ran a 10.99 in the 100 meters to finish 13th in the semifinals, missing the final round. Mignard narrowly missed the finals in the men’s 400 meters, taking ninth in 47.92 seconds. Bradley Jimerson did not make the final cut in the men’s 400 hurdles, coming in 15th at 55.39.
The Lady Bison ended their day in 12th place with 15 points. The OBU men are in fourth with 22 points.
The meet concludes today.