SOU center Thompson earns NAIA recognition

Southern Oregon freshman Eric Thompson received honorable mention recognition as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced the 2011-12 Division II Men's Basketball All-America Teams.

Thompson, a center from Roseburg High School, scored 587 points for an average of 19.6 per game. His 587 points marked the most ever by an SOU freshman, and he added a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game while making 46.6 percent of his shots from the field.

Thompson previously was named to the All-Cascade Collegiate Conference first team after averaging 18.8 points per game during the conference season to rank second in the CCC. He also ranked sixth in the conference in rebounding and among the top 10 in free-throw percentage, 3-point percentage and 3-pointers made.

The honor marks the second consecutive year a Raider has been named honorable mention All-America, after Jordan Highland received the recognition last season. Thompson is one of three CCC players to receive All-America honors, joining Oregon Tech freshman Bobby Hunter (first team) and Northwest senior Rich Skillman (third team).

Track and Field

The Southern Oregon track and field teams head to Sacramento, Calif., this weekend for the 2012 Sacramento State Hornet Invite on Saturday.

Southern Oregon kicks off the full outdoor schedule this weekend after competing at the Border Battle in Arcata, Calif., on Feb. 25. While that meet featured a total of four teams, Saturday's meet will include a full array of programs ranging from NAIA up to NCAA Division I.

"This weekend's Hornet Invitational is really what we're counting on as a coaching staff and as a team as our opening weekend," SOU head coach Grier Gatlin said. "It's a great venue for all of the events, throws, jumps and sprints."

The Raiders will have their full teams available to compete after splitting the program for indoor and outdoor competitions up to this point. Sullivan Stevens and Max Perry will compete outdoors for the first time this season after each earned All-American honors at the NAIA Indoor Championships on March 3.

Perry finished fifth in the shot put with a distance of 55 feet, 7 inches, while Stevens placed seventh in the 60-meter hurdles with a finals time of 8.24 to give SOU its first-ever NAIA Indoor All-Americans.

Southern Oregon opened the outdoor season with a strong showing at the Border Battle on Feb. 25. The Raiders came away with nine individual Cascade Collegiate Conference qualifying marks and four individual event titles at the meet.

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