SEATTLE, Wash. — Jessa Perkinson was the top collegiate women's finisher and the top-ranked Southern Oregon men claimed third place in a field of predominantly NCAA teams Saturday as the Raiders opened the season in the open races at Washington's Sundodger Invitational.
Running a 6,000-meter course at Lincoln Park, Perkinson checked in at 21 minutes, 11.43 seconds, finishing behind only former Washington State standout Ruby Roberts (21:10.58) out of 197 individuals. Perkinson and fellow returning All-American Kayle Blackmore, who placed 29th in 22:39.31, pushed the fifth-ranked Raider women to ninth of 19 in the team standings.
In the 8K men's race, Canadian school Trinity Western won the team title with 46 points. SOU scored 71, which was just a point behind Simon Fraser, the 17th-ranked team at the NCAA Division II level.
All-American Connor Cushman led the Raiders with a fifth-place finish in 24:37.60, only 13 seconds behind champion Brad Hodkinson of Pacific Lutheran in the 217-person field. Noah Oberriter was next in for SOU, placing ninth in 25:02.06.
The Raiders had four more top-50 finishers: 15th-place Kevin Poteracke (25:23.36), 25th-place Ryan Alexander (25:41.17), 35th-place Ray Schireman (25:45.62) and 48th-place Aidan Paulk (25:53.83). Their final scorer, Brandon Kelsey, was 88th in 26:37.91, and freshman Alex Harbert arrived less than a second later.
Behind Perkinson and Blackmore, the last five scorers for the Raider women finished within 17 seconds of each other.
Freshmen Jamie Chelberg (24:02.89) and Shayla Potratz (24:09.36) were 88th and 90th, senior Kim Nava (24:12.90) was 96th, freshman Lauren Fillipow (24:20.07) was 104th and junior transfer Jenna Storms (24:20.52) was 105th.
SOU 3, MULTNOMAH 0: At Portland, Southern Oregon defeated Multnomah 25-23, 25-16, 25-18 in Cascade Collegiate Conference action.
Dani Johnson's had a team-high nine kills on 20 attacks for the Raiders (6-3 overall, 4-1 CCC), who will bring a four-match win streak home for next Friday and Saturday's matches against Northwest (Wash.) and The Evergreen State (Wash.). The sweep, on the heels of their fourth five-set win Friday at Warner Pacific, was their first of the season.
Multnomah dropped to 2-9 overall and 1-5 in the CCC. The Lions' .051 attacking average was the low mark for an SOU opponent this season.
Freshman middle Elliott Cook got in on five of SOU's nine blocks, while Ariana Sattler and Makayla Hoyt had four apiece. Cook also hammered six kills on 11 swings without an error, Hoyt converted six of her 12 attacks into kills, and Taylor Ristvedt chipped in seven kills and three blocks.
Hannah Bogatin and Natalie James both recorded 15 assists, leading the Raiders to a .213 attack.