PITTSBURG, Kan. — Two Southern Oregon University women's relay teams qualified for finals Thursday on Day 1 of the NAIA Indoor Championships, thereby clinching All-America status at the Robert W. Plaster Center.
The Raiders' 4x400-meter team will be the first All-America quartet in SOU women's indoor or outdoor history in the event. Brooke Carson and Tara Crosswhite, both freshmen, gave way to sophomores Arianna Daniel and Savannah Greenwade to record the No. 6 preliminary time of 19 teams in 3 minutes 53.65 seconds.
The distance medley relay squad of Kayle Blackmore (1,200 meters), Erika Soderstrom (400), Bree Weber (800) and Jessa Perkinson (mile) had the eighth-fastest time of 15 teams in 12:06.26. Coming off last year's second-place finish, the Raiders cleared the time of ninth-place Dordt (Iowa) by two seconds.
Both finals will be held Saturday — the distance medley relay at 2:20 p.m. and the 4x400 at 2:55 p.m. Pacific Time.
The 4x400 team was second in its heat, just over a second behind Aquinas (Mich.). Southern New Orleans was the top qualifier in 3:47.24, and Aquinas (Mich.) posted the top DMR qualifying time in 12:00.44.
Loghan Sprauer was in the only other completed event for SOU, placing 15th of 16 in the women's pentathlon with 2,808 points. Joseph Dotson sits at 14th of 15 in the men's heptathlon with 2,411 points and four of seven disciplines down.
Dotson will be the only Raider in action Friday. Perkinson was originally scheduled to run in the 3,000-meter prelims, but the qualifying race was scrapped and she'll be the No. 4 seed in a 14-person final at 12:45 p.m. Saturday.