SOU Track Shines, Perkinson Sets School Record

Logan Stanley, Sports Writer

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Southern Oregon sophomore stud Jessa Perkinson’s dominance on the cross country course has seemingly carried over to the track, by way of her record setting performance yesterday. Competing against talent from the NCAA at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, Perkinson set a new Southern Oregon school record for the 10,000 meter race with a time of 36:14.72. The time shattered the previous record of 36:35.65 set by Seena Frantz in 2011. En route to nabbing a school record, Perkinson also secured the NAIA ‘A’ Championship qualifying mark by over 75 seconds and holds the 2nd fastest time in the NAIA. Something to note: this was Perkinson’s debut in the 25-lap race on the track.

As it’s relatively early on in the outdoor track season–SF State was the Raiders 3rd meet this season–hitting a qualifying mark at this point offers athletes some ‘breathing room.’ “It’s really nice to get the A mark so soon,” said Perkinson, “It’s hard to get many 10k’s in during one season so I’m happy to have the made the most out of my opportunity.”

Perkinson wasn’t the only Raider who hit an ‘A’ qualifying this weekend. Junior transfer Kevin Poteracke, a Bay Area native, also qualified for the NAIA Championships in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:23.92. The time bested the ‘A’ mark by a mere .08 seconds. Nonetheless, Poteracke was thrilled with his race afterwards, “It’s a weight off my shoulders, it really opens up the rest of my season to have some fun and maybe run even faster.” 

Alongside Perkinson and Poteracke’s ‘A’ marks, a multitude of Raiders secured various qualifying marks at the meet. In the 5,000 meter race, senior Jared Hixon (14:48.77) and junior Connor Cushman (14:55.92) hit the ‘B’ standard. Hixon’s time is the 4th fastest in the NAIA, and places him atop the list in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. Freshman Ryan Alexander hit a CCC qualifying time for the 5k, running 15:14.75. In the steeplechase senior Eli Stillman recorded a personal best of 9:48.55, which is a CCC qualifying time.

Junior Caleb Diaz (31:16.82) hit the ‘B’ standard in the 10K, missing the ‘A’ mark by less than a second. In the 1500 meter race, junior Aidan Paulk narrowly missed the ‘B’ standard with a time of 3:57.73 but grabbed a CCC qualifier and a lifetime personal best by 12 seconds. Rounding out the middle-distance group were senior Matt Williams and junior Gary Fanelli in the 800 meters, where both hit CCC qualifying marks with times of (1:57.06) and (1:56.13) respectively.

On Saturday, the middle distance squad (Paulk, Williams and Fanelli) alongside Hixon, ran the distance-medley relay (1200 meters-400 meters-800 meters-1600 meters). The quartet came away with the victory in the field of 12 teams, with a time of 10:13. It wasn’t all distance running for the Raiders in the Bay Area. Sprinter Juluis Shellmire placed fourth in the 100 meters (10.79) and sixth in the 200 (22.12). Shellmire already has the top 100 time (and a NAIA ‘B’ mark) in the Cascade Conference and now owns the second-best 200 time. Cameron Bremner also recorded a top ten finish in the 100m, coming in eighth-place in 11.02.

In the field events, sophomore Hayden Saparto and junior Rohan Cain both hit CCC qualifiers. Saparto jumped 21-9 in the long jump and Cain leaped 6-4 ¼ in the high jump.

On the women’s side, a number of Lady Raiders hit qualifying CCC marks. Freshmen Kayle Blackmore (2:18.98) and Braana Weber (2:21.63) did so in the 800 meters. Blackmore’s time was a lifetime best for her. Junior Natalie Berania (18:55.25) qualified in the 5k and Marisa D’Orfani (11:55.26) did so in the 3k steeplechase, while freshman Cora Gallop did in the triple jump (36-6 ¼). Berania and D’Orfani also recorded lifetime bests in their respective events.

Next up for Raider Track & Field is the California State Twilight at Chico State University on April 8-9.

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