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Raiders add 25 to track & field, cross country teams

Southern Oregon University’s Grier Gatlin, head coach of the cross country and track and field teams, has announced the signings of 25 student-athletes set to join the Raiders for the 2018-19 seasons.

Gatlin, who oversaw 14 NAIA All-America performances in 2017-18, will add 14 individuals to the men’s side and 11 to the women’s side. Included are 16 Oregonians, nine California products, 19 incoming freshmen and six transfers.

“We’re very excited about our new class,” Gatlin said. “We feel it’s well rounded and that all can contribute immediately to our program.”

The signees are listed alphabetically below:

Women’s signees

Madison Casey, Grant HS/Hawaii Pacific U.,Sprints: A transfer entering her junior season, Casey will compete on SOU’s women’s soccer team before returning to track in the winter. She’ll be running for the first time since she attended Portland’s Grant High, where she hit personal bests of 12.74 in the 100 meters and 26.24 in the 200.

Keyaine Guyette, South Albany HS, Pole Vault: Guyette will be a potential point-scorer as a freshman in the pole vault, having cleared a personal best of 10 feet 3 inches during her prep career at South Albany High.

MJ Hamilton, North Medford HS, Sprints/Jumps: Hamilton, recruited as a sprinter and jumper, is one of the most versatile athletes in the class. She qualified for the OSAA Class 6A Championships three times as a member of North Medford’s 4x400 relay team, but also placed sixth overall at the Southwest Conference Championships last year in her first season of cross country.

Kiashe Hobby, Grant HS (Calif.), Throws: The Sacramento product joins the Raiders as a two-time CIF state qualifier in the shot put. She placed second in the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters as a senior after winning the event her junior season, and her personal bests of 42-11 in the shot put and 124-6 in the discus would put her in the mix to score near the top of the Cascade Conference as a freshman.

Jordin Johnson, Sheldon HS, Throws: A javelin specialist, Johnson joins the Raiders after winning the SWC title and qualifying for the OSAA Class 6A state meet as a senior. Her personal best in the event it 125-8.

Sarah Johnston, Cascade Christian HS, Throws: Johnston, a four-time OSAA Class 3A all-state performer, adds more depth to SOU’s young throws crew. Her bests of 38-11 in the shot put and 113-5 in the discus will make her a scoring threat at the conference level as a freshman.

Synee Kizziar, Vista Del Lago HS (Folsom, Calif.), Distance: Kizziar will be a key addition to the Raiders’ cross country roster after winning the CIF Sac-Joaquin individual championship at Vista Del Lago. She wrapped up her senior track season with a best of 11:11 in the 3,200.

Emily Negus, Forest Lake Christian HS (Calif.)/Sierra C.C., Distance: Negus, who will join the Raiders as a junior, was limited during her final season at Sierra College but still logged personal bests in the 1,500 (5:19) and 5K (19:46). As a freshman, she scored for Sierra in the 1,500 at the Big 8 Conference meet.

Emily Shaw, North Medford HS/Biola U., Throws: A graduate of North Medford, Shaw will return to the Rogue Valley after competing as a freshman at Biola (Calif.), where she took seventh in the PacWest Conference in the shot put and hit a personal best of 40-5. She’ll also add experience in the hammer throw.

Emonie Snowton, Phoenix HS, Sprints: A soccer injury prevented Snowton from competing on the track as a senior, but the local standout will join the Raiders with PRs of 12.36 in the 100 and 26.22 in the 200. As a junior at the OSAA Class 4A state meet, she placed third in the 100 and contributed to a runner-up finish in the 4x100.

Madison Wilhoft, North Salem HS, Mid-Distance: As a senior, Wilhoft wrapped up a successful prep career by helping North Salem to second place in the Great Valley Conference. She left with bests of 2:24 in the 800, 4:58 in the 1,500 and 10:25 in the 3K.

Men’s signees

Cian Fernandez, San Luis Obispo HS (Calif.)/Cuesta C.C., Pole Vault: Fernandez will transfer in to bring more experience to the SOU jumps crew in 2019. His career-best of 14-7 in the pole vault would have ranked near the top of the Cascade Conference last year.

Isaac Fernandez, Yreka HS (Calif.), Distance: Fernandez comes to the Raiders after a runner-up showing at the California Northern Section Cross Country Championships last fall. On the track, he’ll bring bests of 4:13 in the 1,500 and 10:12 in the 3,200.

Bryce Goggin, Willamette HS, Hurdles: Goggin will arrive in Ashland as a two-sport athlete, also playing receiver for the Raider football team. He was a two-time OSAA Class 6A all-state hurdler at Willamette High, and his bests of 14.75 in the 110 hurdles and 39.36 in the 300 hurdles look to translate well to longer collegiate races.

Justin Hall, Pacific HS, Hurdles/Jumps: After placing in four events at the OSAA Class 1A state meet as a senior, Hall will join SOU as a hurdler and jumper. He was a three-time state champion in the hurdles and also owns a PR of 44-5 in the triple jump that would’ve been the fifth-best in the Cascade Conference last season.

Deklan Humble, Jesuit HS (Ore.), Distance: During his senior campaign at Jesuit, Humble notched bests of 4:16 in the 1,500 and 8:52 in the 3K. He’ll also contribute in the steeplechase, having competed in the 2K with a time of 6:21.

Zach Keller, Marshfield HS, Sprints: Kellar will come from Coos Bay with a best of 50.10 in the 400 that made him the state runner-up at the OSAA Class 4A level. He placed fifth in the same meet in the 200, and his 4x400 split of 49.0 was the fastest recorded.

Dylan Knostman, Fortuna Union HS (Calif.)/Pacific U./Throws: The product of Fortuna, Calif., will join the Raiders as a junior javelin specialist. He walked on at Pacific University and threw 176-0 for the Boxers.

Andre Lopa, Grant HS (Calif.), Throws: As a senior at the Sacramento-based Grant High, Lopa picked up six victories in the shot put and a top-four finish at the prestigious Stanford Invitational. His PR of 51-7 and raw athleticism will make him a factor for the SOU throws crew in 2019.

Tyler Miller, South Albany HS, Distance: Miller was a state qualifier in cross country at the OSAA Class 5A level as a junior and recorded a best of 9:22 in the 3K. As a senior, he added PRs in the 800 (2:07) and 1,500 (4:22).

Adam O’Brien, Whitney HS (Calif.), Jumps: O’Brien will strengthen SOU’s vertical jumps and could be in scoring contention as a freshman. During his high school career in Rocklin, Calif., he qualified for the CIF State Championship in the pole vault with a mark of 15-0 and boasted a PR of 6-1 in the high jump.

Chris Rosero, Enterprise HS (Calif.)/Shasta C.C., Sprints: Rosero will step in with impressive personal bests 10.81 in the 100 and 21.78 in the 200. The Shasta College transfer should also boost SOU in the relays.

AJ Sandvig, Crescent Valley HS, Mid-Distance: Sandvig should bring range from Corvallis after a big senior season. He placed eighth at the OSAA Class 5A cross country meet, and followed that up by taking second in the 800 at the state track meet with a time of 1:54.72.

Peyton Shipley, South Medford HS, Sprints/Jumps: The local product will join SOU after a senior season at South Medford that was highlighted by an all-state performance in the 400, qualifying off a personal-best time of 48.81. He’ll also bring a best of 6-3 in the high jump.

Nicholas Whitaker, Wilsonville HS, Distance: Whitaker was a top-15 finisher at the OSAA Class 5A cross country meet as a junior, and as a senior he clocked a best of 15:50. During track season, he claimed sixth place in the 3K with a career-best of 8:47.