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Throwing its Name Around

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April 2, 2011
Gary Pine
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SAN MARCOS, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific won 6 events, including 4 on the men’s side, at the third annual Mangrum Invitational hosted by Cal State San Marcos Saturday afternoon.

Athletes from more than a dozen teams competed in 39 events, and perhaps no victory for Azusa Pacific was more surprising than freshman Brad Beckwith’s first-place showing in the discus. In just his second meet with Azusa Pacific, the 19-year old Beckwith tossed the disc 154’ 3”, just 2 feet shy of qualifying for the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The only Cougar entry in the 9-athlete field, Beckwith, who was a prep standout at nearby Glendora (Calif.) High, beat Olympic Gold Medalist and former Cougar great Bryan Clay, who was second with a throw of 150’ 3”.

Beckwith’s throw was the best by a Cougar since James Ferguson’s discus toss of 159’ back in 2007, and it highlighted a day in which Azusa Pacific shined in the throws. Cody Allen, who is clearing eligibility and competed unattached, won the javelin in his first-ever competition. The former professional baseball player turned college quarterback, Allen is trying his hand at the javelin and launched the spear for a winning 220’ 11.” Right behind Allen was Cougar freshman David Musson, who finished second with a throw of 218’ 11”.

On the women’s side, sophomore Lauren Orris put on a performance equal in magnitude to Beckwith’s show with a near 20-foot personal-record in the hammer throw. Her heave of 160’, second in the 17-lady field, is good for provisional qualification for the NAIAs and is just 5 feet off the automatic qualification standard.

Heptathlete All-American Tiffeny Parker won the women’s javelin with a personal-best toss of 129’ 7”.

All-American junior Zach Keene won the men’s 200-meters with a season-best time of 21.34 and then anchored the Cougars’ 4x100-meter relay to victory with another season-best effort of 41.89. He ran the third led on the Cougars’ victorious 4x400-meter relay (3:21.47).

For the first time this outdoor season, Azusa Pacific’s celebrated distance team competed, and as expected, the crew clocked some fine early-season times. All-American senior Abednego Magut ran a 4:10.69 to finish third in the invitational mile, and will use the time as a qualifying mark for the NAIA 1500-meters.

Sophomore All-American Poppy Lawman picked up the Cougar women’s other individual victory by taking the 3000-meters with a fine 9:45.18. She led a 3-way Azusa Pacific sweep of the event. NAIA champion Lauren Jimison was second (9:51.59), followed by senior All-American Victoria Martinez, who was third (10:01.54).

Azusa Pacific returns to the track next week when the Cougars visit the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Saturday (April 9) for a 10 a.m. meet at Strehle Track in Claremont, Calif.