Jackson Coates was second and Loubert Dagrin was fifth

GULF SHORES, Ala. — With a pair of All-America honors leading the way, the Statesmen men’s track and field team had an excellent showing at the NAIA Outdoor National Championship Wednesday through Friday.

Jackson Coates (So., Aldie, Va., Engineering Technology) and Loubert Dagrin (So., Miami, Fla., Sociology) both posted top-eight finishes to become the 27th and 28th All-Americans in men’s program history.

Coates took home runner-up laurels in Thursday’s long jump, while Dagrin was fifth in Friday’s 110-meter hurdles. Their efforts helped William Penn tie for 21st as a team with 12 points. Doane and Madonna shared the team crown with 44 points each. WPU’s finish was the best of any Heart of America Athletic Conference program.

The 4x100-meter relay team led things off with a solid performance in Wednesday’s preliminary. The crew ended up 11th overall in a time of 41.37 seconds. WPU’s squad consisted of Coates, Jaelen Love (Jr., Crown Point, Ind., Secondary Education), Nick Richardson-Jackson (Sr., Germantown, Md.), and Joel Brown (Jr., Columbus, Ga., Engineering Technology).

Love also took to the track Wednesday on an individual basis in the 200-meter dash, placing 22nd in 21.93 seconds.

All three of Love’s 4x1 partners battled in the 100-meter dash, but unfortunately they could not advance past the opening round. Coates was 26th in 10.67 seconds, while Brown was right behind him in 27th at 10.68 seconds. Richardson-Jackson placed 33rd in 10.85 as well.

Coates’ top outing also took place on Thursday as he set a new school record with a long jump of 24-11.25. The distance was good enough for second, the program’s highest national finish since Derek Seddon won the discus title in 2017.

Justin Moeller (So., Keota, Iowa, Psychology) attempted to join Coates in the top eight, but fell just shy of that mark. The sophomore finished 13th with a jump of 23-1.75.

Mofiyinfoluwa Alade (Sr., Hoffman Estates, Ill., Exercise Science) sought to close out his collegiate career with a second A-A award, but was denied. The senior ended up in a tie for 11th in the high jump at 6-6.75.

Finally, Dagrin wrapped up a huge week for the navy and gold with a pair of school-record runs. The sophomore qualified for the final (second-best time) with a Thursday preliminary time of 14.05 seconds. He then turned around on Friday and was even better, breaking Thursday’s school record with a time of 14.00 seconds to take fifth in a blistering-fast final.

“It was great to get back to an outdoor national meet after last year ending so abruptly,” Head Coach Allen Friesen said. “I cannot say enough about our national qualifiers. They all competed very hard and put up some impressive numbers. They were prepared and it showed this week.”

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