STILLWATER, Okla. - The Oklahoma State men's track and cross team made the most of the summer, signing one of the top recruiting classes in the country.
Senior transfer Mike Devenport and junior transfer Vincent Zouaoui-Dendrieux, along with freshmen Daniel Watts, Peter Doroshuk, Ryan Birkholz, Dane Zeiler, and Chad Johnson complete what coaches are calling one of the best recruiting classes in school history.
Devenport, a senior from Beaverton, Oregon, transferred to OSU from Portland State. His maturity and experience will be vital to a young Cowboys squad making their way back to the top of the conference ranks as well as the national ranks.
"Mike is a great athlete who's personal best times are comparable to our top five runners," Cowboy assistant coach Dave Smith said. "He has a lot of experience and capabilities and was very serious and careful when selecting the school where he felt like he wanted to be an athlete as well as a student."
Vincent Zouaoui-Dendrieux, a junior from Carrieres, France, is possibly the top recruit in the nation this year. Last week, he finished ninth in the 3000m steeplechase at the World University Games in Turkey. His personal best time of 8:22 in the steeplechase is better than anyone in the NCAA season this year.
"Vincent is an emerging world-class athlete who is already competing at Olympic levels," Smith said. "He will make an immediate impact on our team, and he alone could raise us as many as 10 spots at the NCAA Championships this season."
Leading a group a talented new freshman is Cambridge, England native Daniel Watts. Watts is a two-time English Schools Champion, capturing top finishes in both cross country and the 3,000-meter run. He also finished 2nd in the under-20's division in the 3,000-meter run.
"Daniel was one of the top high school athletes in the UK (United Kingdom) last year," Smith said. "His time in the 3000m last year would have ranked eighth among high school athletes in the United States, and he is a great NCAA prospect."
Ryan Birkholz, a freshman from Burlington, Wisconsin was an All-State athlete at Burlington High School. His personal record in the mile is 4:19.
Freshman Chad Johnson, native of Houston, Texas, will also have immediate impact on the Cowboys this year. In his time at Kingwood High School, Johnson posted a personal best time of 4:25 in the 1,600-meter run.
Peter Doroshuk, also a freshman, posted a personal best time of 8:38 in the 3,000-meter run in high school. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native also posted a time of 3:56 in the 1,500-meter run.
Rounding out the outstanding freshman class is Dane Zeiler from Metropolis, Illinois. Zeiler's personal record of 4:21 in the 1,600-meter run at Metropolis High School is very impressive when matched up against most high school recruits.
"This is one of the best recruiting class that this program has ever had," Smith said. "We are very excited about the talent and potential of these newcomers and the impact they will have on our program."