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Beltz named CCC Track & Field Athlete of the Year

Southern Oregon University’s Zach Beltz was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference Track and Field Men’s Athlete of the Year on Thursday, becoming the eighth Raider ever to earn the distinction as voted on by the CCC’s head coaches.

Beltz, a senior from Elmira, last weekend captured the Raiders’ first-ever long jump national title at the NAIA Outdoor Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala. He spent the entirety of his collegiate career at SOU, winning four conference titles in the long jump and three in the triple jump.

He was previously named the NAIA Men’s West Region Field Athlete of the Year by the US Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association.

Beltz took down record after record during his final season, finishing at No. 1 on the NAIA performance lists in both of his specialty disciplines. With a long-jump mark of 25 feet 10 inches at the CCC Championships, he broke the meet record and his own school record. It stands as the 20th-best mark at all four-year collegiate levels in 2019.

In winning the national title by a centimeter on his final attempt, Beltz became a four-time overall All-American. He won the long jump at all eight outdoor meets in which he competed this season.

Beltz also recorded his top triple-jump mark at the CCC Championships with another meet record of 50-7 . Before him, no individual had ever won long and triple jump titles at the same meet; he did it three times and was also the first individual to complete a career sweep in the former event.

He improved vastly every year with the Raiders. As a freshman, his first career marks were 19-7 in the long jump and 40-4 in the triple.

Andy Atkinson / Ashland TidingsZach Beltz launches from the board with his last attempt in the finals winning the triple jump with a meet record.