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SOU’s Perkinson, Sprauer land honors

ASHLAND — Jessa Perkinson and Loghan Sprauer swept the Cascade Conference’s weekly track and field awards after historic performances after two historic accomplishments for Southern Oregon University last week.

Last Thursday at Azusa Pacific’s Bryan Clay Invitational, Perkinson clocked the fastest 5,000-meter time in the NAIA since 2009: 16 minutes 13.79 seconds. She was running the 5K, against an all-NCAA and club field, for the first time since she won the national outdoor title last May, and beat her old personal best and school record by 24 seconds while taking over the top spot on the NAIA performance list by a margin of 14.3 seconds.

Perkinson has been voted the CCC Women’s Track Athlete of the Week three times during the outdoor season.

On Thursday and Friday at Raider Stadium, Sprauer became the first Raider to win the Cascade Conference heptathlon championship in 17 years with a score of 4,391 — the fourth-best in SOU history. She had a three-point lead going into the seventh and final discipline, the 800 meters, and clinched the victory by defeating runner-up Lindsay Asplund of Corban by two seconds with a time of 2:24.62.

During the meet, she also recorded personal bests in the long jump (16 feet 1 inches) and the 200 (25.44).

The Raiders are slated to compete Friday at the Pacific Twilight in Forest Grove and Friday and Saturday at Oregon State’s High Performance Meet in Corvallis. Those will be their final outings until the CCC Championships, set for May 11-12 in Hermiston.