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(Walnut & Azusa, Calf.) Exactly one after his last steeplechase race, Louis Falland returned to the Mt. SAC relays to begin again. He came away with an eight-second personal best and the top performance in the NAIA this season.
After racing the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the 2013 Mt. SAC meet, Falland suffered a season-ending foot injury and was unable to defend his 2012 All-America performance at the NAIA championships. While he improved, the experience was not as pleasant as last year. "I have not run a steeplechase race for a year, so it was rough," Falland said. "I lost a lot of time in the last 200 meters. I two-footed the landing in the last water jump and hopped the last barrier instead of hurdling it. It was awful."
Awful, or not, Falland finished sixth in 9:02.28 to debut at the top of the NAIA performance list for the 2014 season.
Senior, Jared Courtright finished 41st in the 10,000 meters, taking 30 seconds off his previous best.
The next day the two travelled to nearby Azusa Pacific to race 1500 meters at the Brian Clay Invitational. Falland finished eleventh in his heat and 37th overall in 3:49.77. The time was under the NAIA automatic qualifying standard and a personal best by ten seconds. Running on tired legs, Courtright managed to come within one second of his best time, clocking 4:05.28 for twelfth in his heat and 93rd in the field 124.