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RAIDER ROUNDUP: Dotson shoots to 2nd-place finish in heptathlon

BROOKINGS, S.D. — Joseph Dotson making a Day 2 surge in the heptathlon standings is nothing new, but only the most optimistic projections would have landed him on a top podium at the NAIA Indoor Championships.

Nonetheless, the Southern Oregon senior got there Friday at the Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex, climbing from 13th place through Day 1’s first four disciplines to runner-up status when all seven were complete Friday afternoon. With 4,853 points, Dotson became a five-time overall NAIA All-American.

He’s just the sixth Raider in men’s program history with multiple top-two individual finishes at NAIA Championship meets, pairing the latest showing with his second-place effort in the outdoor decathlon in 2017. Ross Kennedy (1996-97) was the only previous Raider multi-event athlete to accomplish the feat.

Arianna Daniel, another senior standout, also clinched her seventh NAIA All-America track honor — the second-most in SOU women’s history — by turning in the fifth-fastest preliminary time in the 400 meters at 56.26 seconds among a field of 30. She’ll race in Saturday’s eight-person finals at 11:05 a.m. Pacific Time.

Dotson, in just three disciplines, nearly doubled his Day 1 total of 2,474, which left him 241 points out of second place with 11 individuals to pass. He jumped to seventh place after recording a time of 8.80 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles and clearing 14 feet 5 1/4 inches in the pole vault.

In the final discipline, the 1,000-meter run, he recorded the field’s fastest time of 2:41.48, good for a new personal best and his highest-yielding event at 857 points.

A year ago at the meet, Dotson went from 11th place after Day 1 of the heptathlon to sixth place when it was over.

Levi Sudbeck of Doane (Neb.) was the champion with 5,051 points.

Daniel is a year removed from a sixth-place finish in the 400, which she earned by clocking in at 56.28 in the final. She entered this meet with the 20th-fastest qualifying time of 58.84, but took second place in the first of four heats.

Ardeen Walker of MidAmerica Nazarena (Kan.) had the top prelim time at 55.86 in the last heat.

Freshman Sierra Schultz was the other Raider in action and placed 14th in the pole vault, clearing 11-4 1/2.

College Softball

MACKEY LEADS SOU’S BIG DAY: At Great Falls, Montana, Southern Oregon pounded 27 hits and Olivia Mackey logged the first five-hit game for the top-ranked Raiders in 14 years as they breezed through two more Cascade Conference wins, 9-0 in five innings and 15-8 at Providence (Mont.).

SOU (21-3 overall, 8-0 CCC) ran its winning streak to 11, and its Game 1 win was the fifth straight in which the eight-run mercy rule was applied. Senior pitcher Gabby Sandoval blanked the Argos (1-9, 1-4) to improve to 12-0 and was in the driver’s seat early.

Lauren Quirke went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and hit a two-run home run — her second of the season — in the first that followed Allie Stines’ RBI double. Stines and Hannah Shimek hit two more run-scoring doubles in the second, and Tayler Walker added an RBI single that helped put the Raiders up 8-0.

Stines went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Abbie Lewis had a hit, a walk and two runs in the win.

In Game 2, the bottom of the order took over. Mackey, the No. 8 hitter in the lineup, was 5-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and two runs. Avery Morehead-Hutsell, the No. 9 hitter, went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored.

The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth, where SOU tallied nine runs. Providence responded with a six-spot in the bottom of the inning, but the Raiders tacked on with three in the sixth and three more in the seventh.

Stines stayed hot by going 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI, and Paige Leeper was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs.

Deni Rowley had been the last Raider to record five hits in a single game, doing so twice in 2006.

Jordyn Ragan earned the win by pitching the last 3 2/3 innings in relief.

Men’s Wrestling

RAIDERS ELIMINATED AT NATIONALS: At Wichita, Kansas, the Southern Oregon men’s wrestling team’s time at the 63rd NAIA Championships is over after all four Raiders competing were eliminated during the first session.

The Raiders were doomed by inexperience and tough draws, as three of them lost to top-three seeds. Noah Talavera, a 165-pound freshman, picked up SOU’s lone win with a 6-5 decision over Brewton-Parker (Ga.)’s Michael Long in the first round, but third-seeded Giovanni Bonilla of Grand View (Iowa) then pinned him in the Round of 16 and Chandler Woenker of Campbellsville (Ky.) finished him with a fall in the consolation bracket.

Sophomore 133-pounder Justin Coon, junior 141-pounder Justin Acuff and sophomore 157-pounder JJ Talavera went two-and-out.

JJ Talavera, seeded ninth, was upset in the first round 9-3 by Missouri Baptist’s Steven Weathers and eliminated by 10th-seeded Creed Lumpp of Bluefield (Va.) with a second-round pin.

Coon, the only Raider of the bunch had who previously appeared at the tournament, dropped a major decision to second-seeded Gresh Jones of Dickinson State (N.D.) and an 8-3 decision to Anthony Vargas of Life Pacific (Calif.). Acuff started with a 10-2 loss to top-seeded Kendon Lee of Grand View and went down 2-0 against Oklahoma City’s Jaxen Gilmore in consolation action.

JJ Talavera finished with a record of 24-10. Noah Talavera went 20-15, Coon was 18-12 and Acuff was 9-9.

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