Southern Oregon men take sixth at nationals

MARION, Ind. — Facing temperatures approaching triple-digits, the Southern Oregon track and field team picked up five more All-Americans to tie the program record with a sixth-place finish in the men's team rankings at the NAIA National Championships.

With 33 total points, the SOU men matched the highest finish in program history, joining the 1989 and 2005 teams that also placed sixth at the championship meet. Shorter (Ga.) claimed the national title with 93 points, followed by Azusa Pacific (69), Wayland Baptist (67), Concordia (51) and Indiana Tech (41). The Raider women finished with three points to tie for 46th.

"It was a great meet for both the men's and women's teams," SOU head coach Grier Gatlin said. "Our last day went well even with the blistering conditions, and our times and marks were still good in spite of that."

Max Perry placed second in the shot put with a throw of 58-13/4, his second All-American performance of the meet. James Johnstone earned All-American honors in the men's steeplechase for the second consecutive year, placing third with a time of 9:05.09 after finishing fifth in 2011. Scott McIntyre finished seventh in the steeplechase with a time of 9:20.48 to give the Raiders two All-Americans in the event.

Eric Avila placed sixth in the 1,500 with a time of 3:49.1 and Matt Battaglia took seventh in the 800 (1:52.54), with both earning All-American recognition. Ashland's Dennis McCaffrey finished 11th in the men's steeplechase (9:35.38), while Jessie Rozario finished 14th in the women's steeplechase (11:59.8) and Eagle Point's Hanna Mason took 19th in the women's discus (128-7).

For the weekend, Southern Oregon totaled nine All-American performances, two school records and two national runner-up marks for Perry.

EX-CRATER STAR TYERMAN ADVANCES — Former Crater High standout runner Kayleigh Tyerman was one of six Florida State distance runners to advance to the NCAA Championships on Saturday after Tyerman finished second in her qualifying heat and third overall in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds at Jacksonville, Fla.

Tyerman covered the track in a personal-best time of 16:06.28 and sprinted past three-time NCAA cross country champion Sheila Reid of Villanova in the late stages of the race.

In the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at Austin, Texas, ex-North Medford High star Drew Jordan ran a time of 14:31.02 in the 5,000 to finish 12th in his heat and 18th overall.

The NCAA Championships are June 6-9 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The top 12 finishers in each event at the various preliminaries advance to nationals.

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