SOU men defend track title

ASHLAND — Despite facing a deficit after Day 1, the defending champion Southern Oregon University men turned in a big finale in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Track and Field Championships at Raider Stadium on Saturday.

The Raiders dominated the sprints and jumps to post their fourth title in five years and ninth overall. Southern Oregon scored 189.5 points to 144 for second-place College of Idaho, who held a 97-88.5 lead after Friday.

The College of Idaho women built a commanding lead after the opening day and registered its fifth straight title with 218.5 points. The Raiders finished second with 176.5 points — their first top-two finish since 2005 — and had the women’s track athlete of the meet in sprinter Rakayla Tyler.

The SOU men had double winners in Matt East (200, 400) and Zach Beltz (long jump, triple jump), swept the relays and got a record-setting performance from Dwight Shaw in the 100.

Southern Oregon’s Grier Gatlin was named Coach of the Year.

In a loaded 100 men’s field which saw the top three placers break the meet record (10.75), Shaw won in a time of 10.55 and East was second at 10.56.

East returned to win the 200 (21.65) and SOU’s Cameron Bremner was runner-up in 21.94.

Beltz, a sophomore, won the triple jump on his first attempt (46-5¼). He became the first individual to win the triple and long jump at the same CCC Championship meet.

The Raiders’ 4x400 relay won by nearly three seconds in 3:15.5 with a team of East, Gary Fanelli, Bremner and Cedric Quartey.

Oregon Tech’s Seth Gretz, a former Rogue River High standout, gave the Owls their first pole vault win since 2001 by clearing 15-5 on his first attempt.

In the women’s meet, SOU’s Tyler set a meet record in the 100 (11.87) and eclipsed her own school record. The sophomore won the 200 (24.60) as the No. 3 seed, placed third in the 400 and helped the Raiders’ 4x100 and 4x400 relays to victories.

The SOU 4x400 team of Tyler, Aspen Abbott, Savannah Greenwade and Arriana Daniel cleared the field by nearly nine seconds in 3:56.37.

For the second consecutive year, SOU’s Jessa Perkinson took home the 5K title. The junior broke the previous record (16:51.84) with a time of 16:37.47.

MEN’S TEAM SCORES: Southern Oregon 189.5, College of Idaho 144, Eastern Oregon 139.5, Corban 126, Oregon Tech 100, Northwest Christian 72, Northwest 22, Warner Pacific 12, Evergreen 10, Multnomah 3.

WOMEN’S TEAM SCORES: College of Idaho 218.5, Southern Oregon 176.5, Eastern Oregon 122, Oregon Tech 103, Northwest Christian 89.5, Corban 62, Northwest 27.5, Warner Pacific 9, Multnomah 4.

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