AZUSA, Calif. -- Two weeks ago Breanna Leslie didn’t believe the time she posted in the 60-meter hurdles at the Northern Arizona Team Challenge. She discarded the 8.85 as a “mistake.”
Not anymore. Not after today’s performance.
The sophomore All-American highlighted Azusa Pacific’s Last Chance Indoor Qualifier with a time that not only confirmed her effort in Arizona, but it set a school record. Leslie ran an 8.67 to win the 60 hurdles, and in the process beat the former school record holder, Tiffeny Parker, who set the standard last year at 8.69 and today was second to Leslie with an 8.74.
Leslie was surprised by today’s effort but it confirms her position among the leading contenders for the NAIA high hurdles title when the NAIA’s best meet for the national indoor meet in 2 weeks. Perhaps making Leslie’s time more impressive was the fact that the All-American pentathlete had already competed in the high jump and the long jump before running the high hurdles race.
Leslie’s showing was just one of several outstanding times posted by the Cougar women throughout the meet. In the mile, senior All-American Victoria Martinez recorded not only a personal-record but the third fastest time in program history, winning the race with a sizzling 4:57.00. Teammate Poppy Lawman was right on Martinez’ heels with a 5:03.68. Both times easily met the NAIA qualifying standard for the mile.
In the 800-meters, freshman Diandra Carstensen ran ahead of the 12-athlete field and clocked a personal-record and NAIA-qualifying 2:18.25, more than 2 seconds better than her previous best.
Senior All-American Mandy Ross owned the sprints, wining both the 60- and 200-meters with season-best efforts. She clocked a 7.66 in the 60 and a personal-record 24.72 in the 200, the fourth-best time in the NAIA this season.
Likewise, the Cougar men posted some fine marks in today’s meet. All-American senior Casey Stevick enjoyed arguably his best meet in 2 years, posting season-best performances in the 60 hurdles (8.30), long jump (22’ 3 3/4”) and the shot put (44’ 0 1/2"). In the process, he sent a signal that he is primed to capture the NAIA heptathlon title at the indoor championship meet.
On the track, distance runners Wade Meddles and Abednego Magut cruised in the men’s mile, Meddles winning with a 4:12.83 followed closely by Magut’s 4:13.74, both season-best times for each athlete.
Heptathlete Jordan Savidge won the pole vault with a leap of 15’ 1” and took the long jump with a season- and team-best mark of 22’ 9”, looking strong in an event that will be key for him at the NAIAs.
Freshman Jarel Fernandez closed out the Cougars’ individual victories by taking the 60-meters (7.08).
All entries are now final for the NAIA Indoor Championship Meet. The majority of the Cougar men’s and women’s track & field teams will take next week off in preparation for the NAIAs, while a handful of athletes will compete in the Rossi Relays at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday (Feb. 26) at noon.