FORT WORTH, Texas – After more than 20 years, Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, has restarted its men’s cross-country program and signed seven athletes, including Cherokee Nation citizen Grayson Geasland.
Geasland was the first signee to the revived program. He is a senior at Keller Central High School and has been running cross-country since he was a sophomore.
He said he was sitting in class when his coach presented him a letter from OBU of its interest in him to sign with the program.
“I was sitting in class and my coach gave me this letter and it was from Ouachita. They found me and they were showing interest,” Geasland said. “Usually cross-country programs don’t really go out and recruit. Some do but they don’t heavily recruit like football and basketball. They usually have the runners try and recruit the coaches to come watch them. It was pretty cool to get that. I had talked to the coach and everything and they ended up signing me within a couple of months.”
He said he competes in one of the most competitive districts in Texas, sometimes with 600 to 800 competitors in a meet.
“I haven’t won a lot of races because our district is very competitive and it’s a very fast district,” he said. “It’s one of the best districts in the entire state of Texas, actually, the entire country. It’s really hard to win but I have medaled many times in races. At this year’s district (race) I got 18th place.”
In high school, runners run the equivalent to a 5K race, or 3.1 miles. In college, Geasland said he will run the equivalent of an 8K race, or 4.96 miles.
He said he plans to study something in agriculture and hopes to be the first Geasland to graduate college.
“It means a lot. It means they have trusted me to help lead and better their program. I take that with a lot of responsibility. I’m very excited and I’m very thankful,” he said.