Southern Oregon University sits in 22nd place through the fall and winter sports seasons in the NAIA Learfield Directors' Cup standings, the latest of which were released Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
The Cup is designed to measure an athletic department's overall national performance; points are awarded based on finishes and NAIA Championship events. SOU's men's wrestling, women's basketball and women's indoor track and field teams scored in the winter, bringing the Raiders' total to 322.5 points.
The Raider men's wrestling team provided 75 of those with a fifth-place showing at the national tournament. The women's basketball team earned 25 points for tying for 17th place and the women's indoor track and field team got 50.5 points for finishing 23rd.
Eastern Oregon leads all Cascade Collegiate Conference teams in fifth place (479), and College of Idaho (347.5) is the other CCC team ahead of SOU in 15th. Oklahoma City is the overall national leader with 674.5 points.
The Raiders were No. 8 in the final 2015-16 standings. They were 13th in this year's edition after the fall season.
The final standings will be released upon the completion of the spring season.
College Track & Field
At San Francisco, of the 10 Southern Oregon University runners who competed Friday at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, four became automatic national qualifiers, three of those took over top spots on this season's NAIA lists, and two more established new personal bests.
As usual, Jessa Perkinson was at the forefront of it all. Racing in a 5,000-meter heat with almost exclusively NCAA Division I competition, she broke one of her own school records for the second meet in a row at 16 minutes 46.09 seconds — a time that is easily the best in the NAIA this season and would've been No. 2 on last year's list. Her old record was 17:11.27.
Perkinson finished 10th overall in a field of 145, and Kayle Blackmore also hit an 'A' time of 17:20.66 to place 52nd and take over the No. 2 spot on SOU's all-time 5K list. Natalie Berania was 109th in 18:28.90, PR'ing by 26 seconds, and freshman Ariana Toland was 112th in 18:31.19, both qualifying for the Cascade Conference Championships.
Two Raider men, All-Americans Connor Cushman and Kevin Poteracke, were the others to register the fastest times in the NAIA this season in their events.
Cushman did it in the 10,000 meters, a race he hadn't run since 2015, clocking in at 31:01.84 to place 33rd of 96 and PR by 35 seconds. Ray Schireman was 65th in 32:03.62, making him a CCC qualifier.
Poteracke did it in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:13.98, a PR by 10 seconds in his first time running it since he attained All-America status last year. He finished 21st of 75.
Aidan Paulk completed the 1,500 meters in 3:59.37 – the second-fastest time in the CCC this season behind teammate Noah Oberriter – for 48th place in a field of 139.
In the men's 5K, Oberriter hit a PR of 15:08.99 and took over the No. 2 spot on the CCC list to finish 106th of 207. Ryan Alexander came in at 15:32.89.