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MailTribune.com
  • TRACK AND FIELD

    Raiders venture to Indoors

    SOU well represented at SPIRE Institute
  • ASHLAND — All four events Southern Oregon University will be represented in are worth watching closely at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio.
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  • ASHLAND — All four events Southern Oregon University will be represented in are worth watching closely at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio.
    The Raiders' defending-champion men's distance medley relay team will be in the preliminaries along with the women's 4x400-meter relay team when action begins Thursday at the SPIRE Institute. Jonz Olander will be in the men's 400-meter run and Amelia Maguin in the women's 400 on Friday, and all finals are on Saturday.
    The top-ranked DMR team has all four runners back who set the NAIA record by covering 4,000 meters in 9:48.16 last year: Zach Boyd-Helm for the first 1,200, Olander for 400, Kevin Jorgensen for 800 and Eric Avila for the last mile.
    They qualified with a time of 9:52.32 that was good enough to win the Husky Classic. It was the 53rd-best time at any collegiate level this season. Breaking 9:40.00 would put them somewhere in the top 25.
    "Certainly, going back there, we're a marked team," SOU coach Grier Gatlin said, "but the guys are very focused and set on winning another championship."
    Olander also qualified for the 400 at the Husky Classic, clocking in at 48.46. He'll enter the race ranked No. 4 and needs to crack the top eight to become an All-American. In the outdoor 400, he broke Cascade Conference records the last two seasons and was an All-American in 2012.
    Maguin is trying to become an indoor All-American for the first time after doing it outdoors in the 400-meter hurdles with a school-record time in 2013. She hit automatic with times that were within two-hundredths of a second of each other in her two races this season — her best being a 57.81 at the Washington Invitational.
    She's the only non-freshman on the women's relay team that qualified at the Husky Classic with a couple seconds to spare in 3:58.40 at the Husky Classic. Tierra Barrett, Aspen Abbott and Rachele Bedsole are the others.
    "Having only had one race together, they're very talented and they're just going to get better," Gatlin said. "It'd be great for them to make the final, but we'll just take it one step at a time with them. I think they have a chance to do very well."
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