ASHLAND — Southern Oregon University's Zach Beltz, Kayle Blackmore, Noah Oberriter and Jessa Perkinson scored wins on their home turf as the third annual Raider Invitational kicked off with field and distance events Friday under the Raider Stadium lights.
Perkinson went up against Northwest Christian's Sierra Brown in a matchup of the Nos. 1 and 3 runners on the NAIA 5,000-meter list. The result was a 36-second win for Perkinson, who hit the finish line in 16:53.79 despite running by herself.
Oberriter topped a 24-person field in the men's 5K with a time of 15:08.07, a personal best by one second. His teammate, Connor Cushman, was fifth in 15:24.13.
Blackmore won the women's mile in 5:09.24, edging Northwest Christian's Macie Gale by nearly four seconds, and SOU's Natalie Berania finished fourth in 5:19.38.
Meanwhile in the field, Beltz reclaimed the top spot on the Cascade Conference triple-jump list with a mark of 47 feet, 2 inches, more than 4 feet better than his previous best. He also leads the CCC in the long jump, which he'll compete in today.
Elsewhere for the Raider men, freshman Kevin VanDyke placed second in 9:51.25 in his first crack at the 3K steeplechase and Ben Stevens was fourth in 10:09.61. Joseph Dotson notched a PR in the discus at 133-5, and Tristan Carpenter finished the mile in 4:32.76 in his debut for the Raiders.
In the women's steeplechase, Bree Weber registered a PR of 11:28.34 to place third and Marisa D'Orfani came in at a season-best 11:57.03 for fifth.
Today's field events begin at 10 a.m., and running starts at noon.
SOU SWEEPS: At Klamath Falls, Harlee Donovan hits three home runs as 21st-ranked Southern Oregon enjoyed its first doubleheader sweep at No. 25 Oregon Tech since 2009.
Donovan, a junior catcher, hit two home runs with five RBI in the 7-5 opener, and she added a solo blast in SOU's 3-2 nightcap victory. She's the first player in Raider history to homer in four straight games after hitting three in the previous 35.
Of greater importance, her performance helped the Raiders (30-9 overall, 15-5 Cascade Conference) jump OIT in the CCC standings. They're tied in second place with Eastern Oregon — still two games behind Corban — going into another twin bill today in Klamath Falls that will consist of one CCC and one nonleague contest.
The Owls (24-10, 14-6) had won 11 of their previous 12 conference games when the day began.
Donovan started the day with a two-run shot in the top of the first, but Tara Moates matched her to tie the score in the bottom of the inning. SOU broke the tie in the fifth when Abigail Lund led off with a single, was bunted over by Aaliyah Oliver and driven home by a Kelsey Randall single up the middle. After Kayleen Smith followed with a single, Donovan pulled a three-run homer over the leftfield fence made it 6-2.
Gabby Sandoval improved to 12-5 with a complete game in which she had a season-high nine strikeouts and issued two free passes.
Donovan also drove in the winning run with a fielder's choice in the fifth inning of Game 2. It scored Randall, who beat a throw home. She'd reached on an error to start the inning as her SOU-record hitting streak ended at 25 games.
Karlee Coughlin went to 10-0 with the win after four innings of work, and Victoria Mackey earned a three-inning save while allowing three hits and no runs.