SOU men take second at invitational
PORTLAND — In its third and most crowded race of the season, the Southern Oregon University men’s cross-country team kept its scorers packed tight for a stellar showing Saturday at the Lewis & Clark Invitational.
The No. 16-ranked Raiders finished second of 26 in the team standings — trailing only University of Portland, the No. 26 team at the NCAA Division I level — at Milo McIver State Park as their top-five placers hit the finish line within 51 seconds of each other on the 8,000-meter trek.
Isaac Fernandez paced the group for a second straight outing, placing 12th of 325 overall in 24 minutes, 26.5 seconds.
Kevin VanDyke continued his steady work in 16th place (24:34.2), Zeke Stelzer was 23rd (24:46.3) and Alex Harbert-Castro had his fastest day of the season in 31st (24:54.5). Jensen Salvatori completed the scoring in 47th (25:17.4).
The Raiders amassed 78 points to Portland’s 15, and finished 16 points in front of Carleton College (Minn.), the No. 15-ranked team at the NCAA DIII level.
The No. 10-ranked SOU women’s team raced shorthanded with only six individuals in the 253-person field. But Kayla Clayton had another big day in 12th place with a time of 21:59.2 on the 5K course, and Syndee Kizziar took 26th in 22:31.1. That pair has led the Raiders in every meet.
As a team, they were seven of 23 in the standings, finishing behind five NCAA DI squads.
SOU’s next three finishers came in close: Lauren Forster in 72nd place (23:27.1), Maya Smith in 76th (23:31.7), Haylee Brodahl in 82nd (23:38.7). Their final finisher, Brea Blankenship, placed 130th (24:58.3).
SOU 1, EASTERN OREGON 0: At La Grande, Southern Oregon kept pace with the rest of the Cascade Conference men’s soccer title contenders behind a goal from Alan Gaytan in the 11th minute the held up for the Raiders.
Gaytan’s goal was his team-leading eighth of the season, with the assist coming from Moises Hernandez.
The Raiders (12-2 overall, 8-2 CCC) held Eastern Oregon without a shot on goal, a first for the SOU program since 2019. They’d only done it six previous times in team history.
The shutout was SOU’s second in a row and fifth of the season.
CHEMEKETA 3, ROGUE CC 0: Rogue Community College goalkeeper Franco Melgar made five saves but the Ospreys suffered their first NWAC loss of the season to drop to 7-1-2 overall and 5-1-2 in conference play.
Chemeketa (8-3, 7-1) scored in the fourth and 15th minutes to put the Ospreys in a hole they would not be able to climb out of. The final goal came in the 87th minute.
ROGUE CC 3, CLARK COLLEGE 0: Rogue Community College improved to 15-6 overall and 6-3 in conference play with a 25-9, 25-21, 25-21 win.