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Preliminary NAIA Wrestling Championships brackets released

ASHLAND — The NAIA office released preliminary brackets Friday for the 61st annual NAIA Wrestling Championships, which will be held March 2-3 at the Jacobson Exhibition Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

A total of 240 wrestlers from around the country make up the field. All eight of Southern Oregon University's representatives qualified automatically last Saturday when the Raiders finished as co-champions with Menlo (Calif.) at the inaugural Cascade Conference Tournament.

SOU will bring Trey Long (125 pounds), Matt Peterson (133), Devin Poppen (141), Andrew Ramirez (141), Chandler Michael (149), Hunter Hodges (157), Tanner Fischer (197) and Alejandro Sandoval (197) to the tournament. Peterson, Poppen and Sandoval drew first-round byes in the 32-spot brackets, though Sandoval's likely first opponent is top-ranked Evan Hansen of Grand View (Iowa).

SOU finished fifth in last year's team standings and will be vying for its 10th straight top-10 finish.


ATHERTON, Calif. — Freshman second baseman Hannah Shimek had four hits, stole three bases and scored three runs in No. 3 Southern Oregon's split with the Menlo (Calif.) Oaks on Friday at Wunderlich Field. The Raiders (12-4 overall) dropped the opener, 4-3, but picked up a 7-4 win in Game 2 as Avery Morehead-Hutsell and Hannah Wessel drove in two runs apiece. Menlo went to 9-10, including a 1-4 mark against SOU.

In Game 1, after Harlee Donovan's sacrifice fly forced a 3-3 tie in the top of the fifth, the Oaks scored the deciding run in bottom of the inning when Ariana Belarde hit a two-out double and pinch-hitter Alaina Morgan chased her home with a single up the middle. Sarah Reyes worked around nine hits with six strikeouts to secure the complete-game victory, wiggling out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth that was created by two walks.

Donovan also hit a ground-rule RBI double in the first, and Karlee Coughlin had given the Raiders a 2-0 lead two batters later with a single down the line that brought Donovan home. Morgan Jones took the loss despite allowing just one run in four innings of relief.

In Game 2, Shimek got the Raiders going with a first-inning triple and scored on a Wessel groundout. SOU made it 3-0 in the second with a pair of unearned runs, needing only Tiana Brown's infield single in an inning fueled by two grounders misplayed by Menlo.

Menlo tied it in the third as Reyes and Brooke Menesini whacked RBI doubles, but SOU got one back in the fourth on Morehead-Hutsell's infield RBI single and tacked on three in the fifth. Shimek and Donovan set the table with infield hits and, after Shimek scored on a first-and-third steal play, Wessel lifted an RBI triple and Coughlin plated the final run with another infield single.

Jones got the decision again, allowing three hits and one run in 2 1/3 innings to improve to 2-1, and Gabby Sandoval worked two perfect innings for the save.


ASHLAND — Tristen Holmes, Southern Oregon's junior point guard, has been selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 4 men's basketball team, as nominated on and voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Holmes was one of 22 men's basketball players across the NAIA to be chosen for an all-district team, which are designed to recognize the top student-athletes in the nation for their combined performances athletically and academically.

Holmes is now eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-America consideration. Those teams will be announced in March.

A product of North Medford High, Holmes is a chemistry major with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.86. He earned a spot on the All-Cascade Conference team as a sophomore in 2016-17 and has twice earned Academic All-CCC recognition.


ASHLAND — Twenty Southern Oregon University football players earned Academic All-Frontier Conference status for 2017-18, the league office announced Friday.

Seven of SOU's honorees were business majors: Kevin Blueford, William Brown, Collin Crown, Armando Gauger, Austin May, Josh Middleton and Riley Teeters.

Health and P.E. majors Caden Johnson, Keegan Lawrence, Louis Macklin and Rey Vega made the list, and the communications department was represented by Christmas Aumua, Cameron Daugherty and Tanner Trosin.

Jaxon Clark (outdoor adventure leadership), Chase Cole (pre-physical therapy), Tyler Cox (outdoor adventure leadership), Isaac Hurd (criminal justice), Josiah Maglente-Tonu (criminal justice) and Jeret Musser (elementary education) rounded out the Raiders' representatives.

To qualify for the honor, one must be a sophomore or above in academic standing with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0.