ROME, Ga. -- Azusa Pacific took the lead in the women’s standings and the Cougar men moved into second overall Friday afternoon at the National Christian College Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Rome, Georgia.
The Cougars won three of Friday’s five women’s event finals, recording the seventh-fastest 4x800 meter relay time in program history to win the first relay final of the meet while sophomore Allison Updike and junior Danica Dobosy each won their respective throwing specialty to go with the relay victory. Dobosy won the hammer with a throw of 167-feet, 9-inches, beating her closest competitor by over nine feet. Updike won the javelin, but the distance of her winning throw was not provided in Friday’s championship results due to a clerical error by championship administrators.
Junior Justin Young put together a strong finish to pick up a spot on the final day of the decathlon and give the men’s team an eight-point boost with his NCCAA All-American performance. Young finished second overall after sitting in third at the end of the first day of competition, and he used back-to-back personal-best performances in the pole vault (13-feet, 7.25-inches) and javelin (174-feet, 10-inches) to record a second-day total of 3149 points and an event total of 6375 points, which was 33 points away from his personal-best. His Day 2 total was 160 points better than any of his competitors, and he finished just 53 points off the pace of Oklahoma Christian’s Austin Wallace.
Later in the day, Young returned to the javelin runway to record another 53-meter toss (174-feet, 2-inches) to take second in the javelin. Teammates Richy Nance and Sameer Sedam also registered scoring finishes, with Nance taking fifth (152-feet, 3-inches) and Sedam seventh (personal-best 151-feet, 1-inch).
Other scorers for Azusa Pacific’s women’s team were high jumpers Santana Alford and Faith Douglas. Alford cleared 5-feet, 5.25-inches to take third in the high jump, and Douglas placed fifth by clearing a personal-best 5-feet, 3.75-inches. Sophomore Erica Grassl added a seventh-place finish in the hammer by throwing 142-feet, 1-inch.
The Cougars also sent several competitors through to Saturday’s finals with strong Friday performances in qualifying heats. Senior Jordan Chesley (women’s 100 meter hurdles), freshman Kanoe Yadao (women’s 200 and 400), hurdlers Jake Hare and Matt Kenney (men’s 110 hurdles), sophomore sprinter Ronald Douglas (men’s 200), and senior David Schulte (men’s 400) all advanced to the finals in their respective events.
The Cougars have entries in both men’s and women’s shot put finals on Saturday, and there will be 11 more event finals on the track beginning with the women’s and men’s steeplechase, which begins at 11 a.m. (Eastern time) Saturday morning.