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Cougars Add To Strong Outdoor Start

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Diandra Carstensen's PR of 4:32.92 in the 1500 meters puts her eighth on Azusa Pacific's all-time top-ten list.

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March 15, 2013
Joe Reinsch
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SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- In the second week of nine consecutive weekends of competition in outdoor track & field season, Azusa Pacific added to a solid opening week with another busy day in the open events at the Aztec Invitational hosted by San Diego State University Friday.

Diandra Carstensen won her section of the 1,500 meter invitational race, posting a personal-best 4:32.92 to move into eighth on Azusa Pacific’s all-time top ten list. She beat out second- and third-place finishers from UCLA, and her time put her fifth overall in the event out of a field of 35 runners which included 29 competitors representing NCAA Division I programs.

Breanna Leslie ran her first hurdles race since competing earlier this month at the U.S. Indoor Championships in both the 60-meter hurdles and the pentathlon. Leslie posted a time of 14.25 seconds in her first 100-meter hurdles race of the season, and she cleared 5-feet, 3.75-inches in the high jump. Her busy day also included the shot put, where she threw 36-feet, 4-inches, as well as running on both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.

A week after the 4x100 relay posted the fourth-fastest time in program history (47.28), the same four (Leslie, Anita Fung, Megan VanWinkle, and Mareka Clark) ran a 47.39 to tie for the fifth spot on the program’s all-time list. Cheri Smith exceeded her personal-best in the discus by 10 inches, throwing 129-feet, 11-inches while also competing in the shot put and hammer throw.

David Schulte registered a PR in the 200 meters, running a 22.76, and his 400-meter time of 49.25 was just four-hundredths of a second off his PR in that event. Several other Cougars were also near their personal-bests, as well. Sameer Sedam jumped 22-feet, 10-inches in the long jump, less than an inch off his PR, while Slater Ezell was five-hundredths of a second off his career-best in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing in 15.22 seconds.

Remontay McClain made his first appearance of the outdoor season after advancing to the finals of the 60-meter dash at the U.S. Indoor Championships two weeks ago. McClain ran the 100, 200, and the 4x100 meter relay, winning all three races with times of 10.52 in the 100 and 21.64 in the 200 along with his part in the relay which finished in 41.30 seconds.

In the throws, Talaiasi Taueli and Brad Beckwith each finished in the top-four of the shot put, with Taueli registering 49-feet, 9.25-inches, while Beckwith had a put of exactly 46-feet. Beckwith was also within two feet of his personal-best in the discus, throwing 162-feet, 9-inches to win the event among a field of 35 competitors.

The Cougars have altered their upcoming schedule, taking part in next week’s UC Irvine Spring Break Classic instead of competing at Point Loma, which would have meant Azusa Pacific would be spending three consecutive weekends at competitions in San Diego. Following next week’s UC Irvine meet, the Cougars will return to San Diego for the Cal-Nevada Collegiate Championships hosted by UC San Diego March 29-30.

Azusa Pacific’s only home meets during the outdoor season are the Mt. SAC Relays and California Invitational multi-events meet April 17-18, followed by the Bryan Clay Invitational on Friday, April 19. The Cougars will take part in the Pacific West Conference Championship meet at Point Loma April 26-27 before wrapping up the year the first weekend in May at the NCCAA Outdoor National Championships in Joliet, Illinois.