CHICO, Calif. – The Southern Oregon track and field teams picked up eight NAIA automatic qualifying marks over the weekend at the Chico Twilight & Distance Carnival Friday night and Saturday at Chico State University.
Matt Battaglia (Salinas, Calif./Salinas) led the way with a pair of NAIA “A” Standard marks, including an event championship in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:52.68. Battaglia also placed sixth in the 1500-meter run with a time of 3:54.76.
Former Mazama athlete Mikayla Garrard raced the 400 meters in under 59 seconds for a fourth place finish.
Battaglia was one of four SOU athletes to qualify in the 1500-meter. Jared Hixon (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale) finished fourth (3:54), James Johnstone (Lake Arrowhead, Calif./Rim of the World) placed seventh (3:55.03) and Scott McIntyre (Redding, Calif./Ponderosa) finished eighth (3:55.25), with McIntyre hitting the “A” qualifying mark exactly.
Max Perry (Florence, Ore./Siuslaw) also picked up a pair of qualifying marks and placed second in the shot put and the hammer. Perry’s throw of 53-0 in the shot put was the eighth-best mark in the NAIA this season, while his hammer throw of 179-8 was the 12th-best mark in the nation.
Jonz Olander (Grants Pass, Ore./Grants Pass) gave the Raiders their eighth qualifying mark, posting a time of 48.0 in the 400-meter to finish second in the event. Olander’s time was the best mark of his career and the second-best mark in the 400 in SOU history, behind only Mat Davis’ 47.84 in 2000.
Southern Oregon will return to action Saturday, when the Raiders will travel to Davis, Calif., for the UC Davis Woody Wilson Invite.