SOU turns in 3rd straight runner-up finish
KLAMATH FALLS — The Southern Oregon women’s cross country team held on Friday for its third consecutive second-place team finish at the Cascade Conference Championships.
On a 5,000-meter trek at the Running Y Ranch, the No. 13-ranked Raiders accumulated 87 points to edge third-place Oregon Tech by three points behind a pair of all-conference runners: fourth-place Sydnee Kizziar and 10th-place Kayla Clayton.
College of Idaho won the title for the third straight season. All five scorers for the No. 6-ranked Yotes — including individual champ Ellyse Tingelstad, who clocked in at 19:06.3 — finished among the top-12, putting them at 33 points.
Although the Raiders missed out on their first championship, they pulled off the runner-up effort without the services of freshman Lauren Forster, a consistent scorer for them all season.
Kizziar was an All-CCC performer for the second straight season. The junior improved upon her seventh-place standing in 2019 with a time of 19:30.1. Clayton turned in an all-star finish in her first season in 19:50.1. The duo have been the first two placers for the Raiders in all five of their races.
Haylee Brodahl stepped up in 16th place (20:10.9), just one spot out of All-CCC status. Alejandra Lopez was 23rd (20:43.6) out of the 73 total finisher, and SOU’s final scorer, freshman Gracie Freudenthal, finished 36 seconds later in 35th place (21:19.2).
The Raiders are a lock to receive an at-large team bid for the NAIA Championships, which will be held Nov. 19 in Vancouver, Wash. The complete field will be announced next week.
Unfortunately for the Southern Oregon men’s cross country team, the Cascade Conference turned out to be as deep as advertised.
In the country’s only conference meet featuring six NAIA Top 25 teams, the No. 8-ranked Raiders settled for fourth place Friday as third-place senior Kevin VanDyke and eighth-place junior Isaac Fernandez took home All-CCC plaques.
College of Idaho, ranked No. 14, claimed the championship for the third time in four years with 52 points to No. 12 Lewis Clark State (Idaho)’s 56. With 73 points, No. 15 Oregon Tech was three ahead of SOU, while No. 20 Eastern Oregon and No. 24 Northwest (Wash.) were well behind with 113 and 119.
C of I’s Logan Hunt took first place in 24:52.1 and LC State’s Cole Olsen was the runner-up in 25:03.6.
VanDyke repeated as an All-CCC cross country runner — he’d placed 12th at SOU’s last appearance in 2019 — by completing the 8,000-meter course in 25:24.4 in his fourth and final showing at the meet. Fernandez clocked his eighth-place finish in 25:46.3.
Zeke Stelzer (26:08.7) and Jensen Salvatori (26:09.7) occupied the first two spots outside of the all-conference window in 16th and 17th place. Alex Harbert-Castro, an All-CCC performer two years ago, was SOU’s fifth and final scorer in 32nd place (26:48.2).
The Raiders should expect to receive an at-large team bid to the NAIA Championships when qualifiers are revealed announced next week.
MEN’S TEAM SCORES: College of Idaho 52, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 56, Oregon Tech 73, Southern Oregon 76, Eastern Oregon 113, Northwest (Wash.) 119, Bushnell 244, Corban 249, Multnomah 272, Walla Walla (Wash.) 282
WOMEN’S TEAM SCORES: College of Idaho 33, Southern Oregon 87, Oregon Tech 90, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 103, Northwest (Wash.) 114, Eastern Oregon 163, Multnomah 178, Bushnell 194, Corban 220.
SOU 3, MULTNOMAH 0: At Ashland, Southern Oregon got back to the .500 mark with a 25-14, 25-23, 25-20 win at Lithia Motors Pavilion.
Sophomore middle Sadie Byrd dominated at the net with a season-high 13 kills on 17 attempts and two of SOU’s six blocks, and freshman hitter Hannah Stadstad went for 10 kills on 12 swings. Their combined .759 average pushed the Raiders to a .343 attack as a team, their best in a month.
The Raiders went to 14-14 overall and 8-13 in the CCC.
Setters Taylor Russell (25 assists) and Gwen Sheldon (18 assists, 5 digs) acted as their catalysts against the Lions. Karina Oliveira (12 digs) and Kadyn Jones (11 digs) supplied the defense. Complementing Byrd and Stadstad, Hailey Van Well (9 kills) and Simone Gordon (7 kills) combined for 16 kills.
Jocelynn Porter had 13 kills on 26 attempts and Danae Stokes added 10 kills for the Lions.
ROGUE CC 3, UMPQUA CC 0: At Grants Pass, Rogue Community College scored a 25-13, 25-17, 25-17 win to improve its record to 19-8 overall and 10-5 in conference play.
WESTMONT (CALIF.) 67, SOU 66: At Santa Barbara, Calif., Josh Meyer’s 20 points and nine rebounds weren’t enough as Southern Oregon dropped its opener at Murchison Gym.
The Raiders’ struggles from 3-point range, where they shot 7-of-29, haunted them until the final buzzer. Jake Virga’s attempt from outside for the lead was blocked with eight seconds left and after he recovered it Tez Allen missed one more to seal the outcome.
Allen battled foul trouble throughout the game but still managed 11 points and three steals. His final bucket was a 3-pointer that cut SOU’s deficit to one point with 53 seconds left. It ended up being the final make for either team.
Westmont point guard Jared Brown lit up the Raiders for 26 points on 9-for-10 shooting and accounted for all four of the Warriors’ 3s. One of them started the deciding run, an 11-0 spurt that took Westmont from down four to up 64-57 with seven minutes left.
Meyer labored through an 8-for-20 night to get his 20. Mason Whittaker went for eight points, and K’wan Carter had six points and six boards off the bench.