EOU takes trophies at NAIA

By Observer staff March 10, 2014 11:49 am

GENEVA, Ohio  Eastern Oregon University men’s and women’s track and field team made the most of the second day at the NAIA Indoor National Championships. The Mountaineers  claimed one National Championship, as Talitha Fagen won the women’s pole vault and EOU also claimed four All-American honors on the day.

Talitha Fagen claimed the first NAIA Championship by winning the women’s pole vault. Fagen cleared a height of 12 feet, 6-3/4 inches to claim first place. In the process of winning the national title, Fagen broke her school record by 5-1/4  inches.

Travis Simpson finished third in the high jump as he cleared 6 feet,  10 1/4 inches to take third place. The top three finishers cleared 6 feet, 10-1/4 inches and places were determined by who had misses in the previous rounds. The third-place finish earned Simpson All-American honors. 

In the men’s weight throw, Brian Wickham finished sixth to earn All-American honors. Wickham recorded a throw of 60 feet, 1/2 inches. He improved on his season-best throw by 3 feet, 2-1/2 inches.

After the first event in the heptathlon, Ryan Rosenau looked to make a jump in the standings. In the 60-meter hurdles, Rosenau ran a personal best with a time of 8.50, to finish third in the hurdles. The finish moved him  from ninth place to sixth place. In the next event, Rosenau pole vaulted 12 feet, 7 1 /2 inches, which dropped him to seventh in the standings. In the last event of the heptathlon, the 1,000 meter run, Rosenau crossed the finish line in a time of 2:48.08 to finish third in the race. He finished the heptathlon in seventh place with 4,863 points, which earned him All-American honors.

In the women’s 600-meter run, Irene Olivo broke the school record. In heat three, Olivo ran a time of 1:37.74, which was fast enough to break the school record by .24. Alma Garcilazo was the previous record holder who ran a time of 1:37.98 in 2010.

Hans Roelle won the 1,000 meter run and Damion Flores won the 5,000 meter run for the second and third national champion titles for EOU at the 2014 national championships.

The Mountaineers men’s track and field team finished in sixth place overall with 36 points. The sixth place finish is the best finish for any Men’s EOU team at the Indoor National Championships. The women’s team finished in 15th place with 18 points. 

Eastern Oregon claimed its second national champion at the NAIA Indoor National Championships on on the final day with  junior Hans Roelle winning the 1,000 meter run. Roelle ran with the pack until the final 200 meters of the race, as he clocked his fastest 200 meter split of the race by running a time of 25.8 over the final 200, to win the race by over one second. The win earned him All-American honors as well.

Damion Flores claimed the second national title of the final day and All-American honors for EOU by bringing home the  title in the 5,000 meter run. Flores jumped out to an early lead and held the lead the entire race. He held off Dylan Reyes of St. Francis (Ill.) and Ethan Gallagher from Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)  at the finish line to win the championship. Flores finished the race in a time of 14:37.53.

Harley McBride added her name to the list of Mountaineer All-Americans as she finished third in the high jump. On her third jump of 5 feet, 7 1 /4 inches.  McBride cleared the bar to break her own school record by a quarter of an inch, and to finish in third place.

Earning All-American honors in the 3,000 meter run was Isaac Updike, who finished fourth. Updike held the lead going into the final lap of the race but could not hold on. He finished with a time of 8:23.70, which broke his previous school record by 4.49 seconds in the 3K.

The women’s 4x400 meter relay team finished seventh place in the finals and broke their own previous school record, which they had sent in the preliminaries. The Mountaineers finished in a time of 3:51.40 earning All-American honors.

The Mountaineers sent 12 athletes to the 2014 Indoor National Championships and each athlete came home with All-American honors and three athletes won national championships.