Perkinson places second, All-American for 14th time
GULF SHORES, Ala. — Jessa Perkinson’s lengthy list of accomplishments expanded one last time Saturday as the senior from Roseburg collected runner-up honors in the 5,000 meters to cap her unparalleled Southern Oregon University career at the NAIA track and field championships.
Perkinson finished as a 14-time overall NAIA All-American, a number without precedent in the history of Raider athletics, and senior Kevin Poteracke placed fourth in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase to become SOU’s first three-time All-American in the event.
The Raiders ended the meet with seven All-America performances — four women’s, three men’s — as Arianna Daniel took eighth in the 400 final and the women’s 4x100 relay team of Daniel, Lindsey Bonney, Margot Hamman and Savannah Greenwade was eighth in its final.
The Raider women finished 22nd in the team standings with 15 points. Perkinson accounted for 13 of those (she was fourth in Thursday’s 10K) and 42 in her outdoor career; before her run started, the SOU career record was 26 points.
The Raider men scored 13 points and tied for 25th place.
Perkinson was a top-three finisher in the 5K for the third consecutive season, having placed third as a sophomore and won the title as a freshman. She recorded a time of 17 minutes, 18.33 seconds.
Perkinson was 24 seconds behind Oklahoma City’s Aminat Olowora, who claimed her fourth title of 2017-18. The Raider standout had an 8-second cushion in front of third place.
Poteracke captured his top finish in the steeplechase after taking eighth as a sophomore and seventh as a junior. He did it in 9:14.82 to finish off a year in which he was a cross country All-American, won the Cascade Conference steeplechase championships and logged the third-fastest steeple time on SOU’s all-time list (9:06.91).
Daniel had secured All-America honors in the women’s 400 — becoming the third Raider ever to do so — by clocking the seventh-fastest qualifying time, 56.29 seconds, in Friday’s prelims. She ran the final in 56.74, while Southern-New Orleans’ Shadae Hylton won it in 52.66.
Bonney, Daniel, Hamman and Greenwade’s 4x100 team claimed the eighth and final qualifying spot on Thursday and finished their final in 47.38. Daniel, Greenwade and Hamman were All-Americans for the second year in a row in the race. Only one other SOU team, in 2002, had previously made the final. Wiley (Texas) picked up the win in 45.80 seconds.
In Saturday’s other finals, junior Noah Oberriter placed 11th of 15 in the men’s 5K with a time of 15:18.64, while Zach Beltz, who was sixth in Friday’s high jump, placed 25th of 31 in the triple jump with a mark of 45 feet inch.