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SOU's Fischer, Poppen round out stellar careers

DES MOINES, Iowa — Two memorable Southern Oregon wrestling careers came to an end Saturday inside the Jacobson Exhibition Center with 197-pounder Tanner Fischer placing seventh and 141-pounder Devin Poppen placing eighth at the NAIA Championships.

Both seniors were defeated in the quarterfinals and had to win consolation matches to secure top-eight standings Friday. On Saturday, they lost their first consolation matches but Fischer, a No. 10 seed, rebounded with a 5-2 upset against No. 5 Dialo Matsimela of Life (Ga.) in his seventh-place match.

The Raiders landed at No. 24 in the team standings with 18 points, of which Poppen accounted for seven and Fischer six. Grand View (Iowa) skated to its eighth consecutive team title.

Fischer, a product of Oregon City, matched his 2017 seventh-place showing to become a two-time All-American. His run included a pair of upsets, though No. 9 David Hamil of Brewton-Parker (Ga.) directed him to the seventh-place match with an 8-5 decision.

Fischer finished the season with a 27-11 record and totaled 90 victories in his career.

Poppen, also from Oregon City, dropped both of his matches Saturday — 11-7 in a consolation against Oklahoma Wesleyan’s Dayton Marven, and 15-4 against 10th-seeded Jaedin Sklapsky of Campbellsville (Ky.) in the seventh-place match.

A three-time conference and regional champion, Poppen earned All-America status for the first time and ended with a 27-8 season record.

After five seasons with the Raiders, he finished at No. 5 on the program’s career wins list (111) and No. 2 on its pins list (74). He compiled 19 wins by fall as a senior.

Track and Field

DANIEL, GONZALEZ SIXTH: At Brookings, S.D., Arianna Daniel placed sixth in the women’s 400-meter finals and Rhett Gonzalez did the same in the men’s 60-meter hurdle finals to complete Southern Oregon’s successful run at the NAIA Indoor Championships.

Daniel and Gonzalez clinched All-America status in Friday’s prelims along with Zach Beltz, who took fifth in the long jump, and Joseph Dotson, who was sixth in the heptathlon.

Beltz nearly doubled up on the honors Saturday, placing 10th of 30 in the triple jump with a season-best mark of 46 feet, 6 inches despite coming in as the No. 24 seed.

Daniel was the No. 10 seed in the 400 but ran the prelims in 56.31 seconds, 1.6 seconds better than her seed time. She was even faster in the finals, checking in at 56.28 seconds in becoming a five-time overall All-American and notching her top national individual finish.

Gonzalez snuck into sixth place as the No. 11 seed in the 60-meter hurdles. He ran the prelims in 8.18 seconds and the finals in 8.12 for his first-ever top-eight national finish. Milligan (Tenn.)’s Rasheem Brown won the race in 7.81.

The Raiders open their outdoor season next Saturday at Chico State’s Wildcat Invitational.


SOU 4-11, EASTERN OREGON 0-6: At Ashland, with the sweep, Southern Oregon kept alive its streak of not having lost consecutive games since 2017.

After dropping Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader to start the four-game series, the third-ranked Raiders (14-3 overall, 2-1 Cascade Conference) bounced back in the opener behind Gabby Sandoval’s two-hit shutout to take two of three in the CCC portion of the series.

In the nonconference finale, SOU put up eight runs in the first inning and totaled 15 hits as Hannah Shimek went 3-for-4 with a run and three RBIs and Allie Stines had a pair of doubles, two runs and three RBIs.

Stines, a junior catcher, finished 5-for-11 with four doubles, a triple and three walks in the series. Shimek, a sophomore second baseman, extended her on-base streak to 33 games dating back to last season.

Sandoval (8-1) didn’t allow an earned and gave up just seven hits with 13 strikeouts over 162/3 innings during the series.

The Game 1 shutout was her fourth of the season, and she pitched the final 22/3 of Game 2, striking out the side in the final frame to seal the win. Her ERA dipped to 1.34.

The Mountaineers dropped to 2-12 overall and 1-2 in the CCC.