16 Raiders Set to Compete at Track Nationals

Kevin Poteracke competing at the 2016 Raider Invitational. Credit: Al Case

GULF SHORES, ALA.–This weekend, Southern Oregon Track &Field will send 16 Raiders to compete at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships across 11 events. Here’s who’s going.

*Top eight finishers in each event earn “All-American” status*


Tylor King / Shot Put: CCC champion in the shot put … Entered as #10 seed (54-2 ½’ feet) … Has a PR of 54-4’ … Fun fact: Selected to the All-CCC team as an offensive lineman in the fall.

Zach Beltz / Long Jump: CCC champion in the long jump as a freshman … Entered as #8 seed (24-1 ½ feet ) … Has been consistently getting better: has jumped further at each meet since April (21-1′ –>  22-5′ –> 22-6′ –> 23-7 ½ –> 24-1 ½).

Joe Dotson / Decathlon: Placed 2nd at the CCC Multi-Event Championships … Entered as #6 seed (6,408 points) … Increased previous PR by 638 points at his last decathlon.

Jared Hixon / 1500m: CCC champion in the 1500m (3:51.24) and 5000m (14:30.42) … Entered as #7 seed … All-American in the 1500m at 2014 Outdoor Nationals (4th place) … Owns a lifetime best of 3:47.51 (ran in2015), which is the 2nd fastest time of anybody in the 1500m field.

Kevin Poteracke / 3000m Steeplechase: Placed 3rd at the CCC championships … Entered as #9 seed (9:23.92) … Fun fact: Poteracke, a young running prodigy, stopped running after he graduated high school in 2013, and just got back into the sport last year.

Dylan Alexander / 5000m: 2015 NAIA Champion in the 5000m, where he ran 14:45.74 … Placed 2nd at the CCC championships (14:45.42) … Entered as #9 seed … Owns a lifetime best of 14:17.19 (ran in 2015), which is the 2nd fastest time of anybody in the 5000m field. Note: Alexander has missed a majority of the season due to a groin injury, and has only competed in 2 races thus far.

Caleb Diaz / 10000m: Placed 14th at the CCC championships in the 5000m … Entered as #14 seed (31:16.82) … Ran season PR at the SF State Distance Carnival.

4×100 meter relay team —  Julius Shellmire, Zac Hannan, Cameron Brenner, Hayden Saparto: Broke the school record at the CCC championships (41.33) … Entered as #11 seed … All four members have broken the 11 second barrier in the 100m (10.69 – 10.88 – 10.92 – 10.98 respectively).


Jessa Perkinson / 5000m & 10000m: Broke the school records in both the 1500m, 5000m and 10000m (4:33.42 – 17:11.27 – 36:14.72) … Competing in the 5000m (#5 seed) and 10000m (#3 seed) … Was an All-American (13th place) at the 2015 Cross Country NAIA Championship.

4×800 meter relay teamAspen Abbott, Kayle Blackmore, Bree Webber, Natalie Berania: Broke the school record (9:18.88) at the Raider Invitational … Entered as #6 seed … Two of the members are already All-Americans (Abbott and Blackmore — women’s DMR at 2016 NAIA Indoor Nationals).