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Raider women make school 4x4 history

GULF SHORES, Alabama — Southern Oregon's 4x400-meter women's relay team sealed its All-America standing Saturday with a seventh-place finish, concluding the Raiders' three-day stay at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium.

The team comprised juniors Arianna Daniel, Savannah Greenwade and Loghan Srauer and sophomore Julia Delucchi. They clocked in at 3 minutes 53.31 seconds after entering the meet as the No. 10 overall seed, qualifying for the final Friday by placing second in their heat. Southern-New Orleans won the race for the second year in a row with a nine-second cushion in 3:38.22.

It was the third straight year the Raiders left Alabama with a top-eight finish in a women's relay. They placed sixth in 2017 and eighth in 2018 in the 4x100, but just missed the 4x400 finals both seasons. They'd never previously produced an All-America team in the 4x400 at the outdoor meet, though their 2018 indoor squad - which also featured Daniel, Greenwade and Sprauer - placed second nationally.

Including indoor, Daniel is now a six-time All-American, Greenwade a four-time All-American and Sprauer a three-time All-American.

The Raiders left with four total All-America efforts, finishing 26th in the men's standings with 12 points and 36th on the women's side with six.

Ryan Alexander and Zach Beltz were both one spot removed from scoring on the final day of the meet.

Alexander, a senior from Encino, Calif., who entered as the No. 11 seed in the 1,500, was the last of 12 qualifiers in Thursday's trial races. In the final, he was at the end of the pack before making a push at the final stretch and snuck into ninth place in 3:58.88. He was just 1.4 seconds outside of the top eight.

Beltz - who on Friday won SOU's first-ever long jump title by a centimeter with a mark of 25 feet 7 inches - placed ninth in the triple jump at 47-11 . He came in as the top seed and was 1 inches out of eight place, but significantly improved on 23rd- and 25th-place finishes he posted as a sophomore and junior at the meet.

In the men's pole vault, freshman Adam O'Brien matched his season-best by clearing 15-7 for 12th place. Before dropping on tiebreaker criteria he was in a five-way tie for ninth, and two inches outside of the top eight.