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SOU relay team sets another record at Day 1 of nationals

GULF SHORES, Alabama — The Southern Oregon University women’s 4x100-meter relay team broke the school record for the second outing in a row and clinched All-America status with an impressive showing in the prelims during Day 1 of the NAIA Outdoor Championships on Wednesday at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium.

With a time of 46.44 seconds, the Raider quartet of Baylee Touey, Arianna Daniel, Julia Delucchi and Lindsey Bonney placed second in its heat and fifth overall to qualify for Saturday’s final. They’ll be among the top-eight for the third time in four seasons after topping the record of 46.56 they established 12 days ago at the Cascade Conference Championships. William Carey (Miss.) had the top qualifying time of 44.76 and Indiana Tech won the heat in 45.70.

In Wednesday’s finals, sophomore KiAshe Hobby placed 10th in the women’s hammer with a throw of 166 feet 6 inches, improving on her 21st-place finish as a freshman in 2019 and outperforming her seed by one spot. In the men’s hammer, Luigi Gonzalez (165-0) and Trevor Holt (164-7) placed 27th and 28th.

Sophomore Isaac Fernandez was the only other Raider in a final. He ran the 10K in 32:58.28 to place 21st in a field of 28.

Midway through the men’s decathlon, five-time All-American Joseph Dotson is in strong position with 3,441 points in ninth place. Dotson, traditionally a Day 2 climber, is 146 points ahead of the pace he set when he posted a PR to claim second at the 2017 NAIA Outdoor Championships, and just 40 points off his best-ever Day 1 total. He’s 209 behind leader Cadin Gustafson of Friends (Kan.).

In the women’s heptathlon, freshman Camdyn Bruner is in 13th place with 2,526 points.

Bonney was also in the 200 prelims, where her time of 24.73 seconds was 22nd in a field of 29.

Dotson and Bruner will get things started for SOU today, opening their multi-events championships at 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time.