GENEVA, Ohio — Southern Oregon's two relay teams competed in Thursday's NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championship preliminaries, with the top-ranked distance medley relay team earning a spot in Saturday's final race.
The distance medley relay team of Zach Boyd-Helm, Jonz Olander, Kevin Jorgensen and Eric Avila came into the meet with the NAIA's best time this season by more than two seconds. While the team's preliminary performance was not quite up to the speed of its qualifying time, the Raiders' 10:03.82 mark was good for second place and a spot in the final meet on Saturday night.
Dickinson State, which came into the meet with the ninth-best time, broke 10 minutes to take the top spot at 9:59.08.
The SOU 4x400 relay team of Nick Perrino, Josh Muswieck, Corey Sharp and Jonz Olander posted its best time of the season, finishing the race in 3:18.6. That placed the Raiders 12th in the event, two spots higher than the No. 14 ranking they had entering the meet. However, it was not enough to earn a spot in Saturday's finals, as only the top eight teams advanced.
Returning All-American Sullivan Stevens will compete today in the 60-meter hurdles.
As the calendar flips over to March, the Southern Oregon women's soccer program is preparing for its spring training period and finalizing its schedule for spring competition.
"We're all really excited to get back on the field," SOU head coach Jon Clement said. "After two months of three-times-a-week fitness training at 6:30 a.m., we're all anxious to break out the soccer balls and start gearing up for the fall."
The Raiders will play three exhibition matches during the spring season, taking on upper-division NCAA programs in an effort to prepare the team for the fall schedule. Southern Oregon will travel to Eugene to play against the University of Oregon on April 6 at 4 p.m. in the spring opener. The following week the Raiders will host Chico State on April 13 at noon. Their final spring contest will be April 21st at Oregon State, with a start time yet to be determined.
"As a just reward of sorts for the incredible effort our team put forth in winter fitness training, we're thrilled to have the chance to play a very challenging spring schedule," Clement said.
As the team moves forward from last year and prepares for the upcoming season, the spring training period provides a chance for the returners to step forward and find roles going into fall camp.
"This spring is all about opportunity individually and collectively, and we're already seeing the sort of enthusiasm and team togetherness that will help immensely as we strive to compete at the highest level possible," Clement said.
Tickets are available for the annual Southern Oregon University Raider Club scholarship dinner and auction Thursday in the Rogue River Room at Stevenson Union on the SOU campus.
Tickets are $40 per person and includes dinner, drinks, a silent auction, live auction and a scholarship ask.
The silent auction starts at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and the rest of the evening beginning at 6:30.
Money raised goes toward scholarships for SOU athletes.
To RSVP, email or call Associate Athletic Director Bobby Heiken at email@example.com or 541-552-6824.