Six Raiders qualify for NAIA finals

MARION, Ind. — Strong preliminary performances led the way for Southern Oregon during the first day of competition at the 2013 NAIA outdoor track and field national championships Thursday.

Six Raiders competed in preliminary events, with all six advancing to the event finals over the next two days.

"It was a good day for us to start," SOU head coach Grier Gatlin said. "All our athletes who had preliminary rounds today made it to the finals. We're looking forward to tomorrow."

Stephanie Techler placed 10th in the women's pole vault with a mark of 11 feet, 7 3/4 inches, while Alexandra Rudd and Hector Aleman placed 16th in the women's and men's 10,000. Through five decathlon events, Brandon Ritchie ranks eighth in the overall rankings.

Eric Avila and Amelia Maguin led the way in the preliminary races for the Raiders, as Avila placed second in the men's 1,500 and Maguin finished second in the women's 400 hurdles. Kevin Jorgensen joins Avila in the 1,500 finals after finishing seventh in the prelim race.

Sullivan Stevens placed ninth in the men's 400 hurdles and will run in the final race on Saturday. Trevor Lynn placed 10th in the men's steeplechase and Jessie Rozario finished 13th in the women's race to earn spots in Saturday's final races.

The Raiders return to action today in the second day of championship competition at Indiana Wesleyan.

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