Oz Faal Takes SAA Men's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year, Petrels Place Five on All-SAA Teams

Oz Faal Takes SAA Men's Track and Field Newcomer of the Year, Petrels Place Five on All-SAA Teams

The Oglethorpe men's track and field team earned several All-SAA accolades this week after finishing seventh at the SAA Track and Field Championships in Sewanee, Tennessee, over the weekend. Freshman Oz Faal earned SAA Newcomer of the Year honors, as voted by the league's coaches, for his work over the course of the season, while also earning a spot on the All-SAA First Team for his performance at the conference meet. Junior Rodrigo Meade joined freshmen Marcus Alvarez, Jacob Hadden and Justin Hazel on the All-SAA Second Team.

Faal won the individual SAA championship in the 800-meter run on Saturday at the SAA Championships, completing two full laps of the track in 1 minute, 54.7 seconds. That automatically earned him a spot on the All-SAA First Team, but he also had an outstanding season overall, facilitating his selection as the SAA Newcomer of the Year. He finished fourth in the 800 at the Emory Invitational in late March, then went back to the same track a week later at the Emory Classic and finished fourth in the 1500-meter run. He also finished second in the 800 at the Southern Indoor Challenge in February, and also came in second in the distance medley relay at the Tiger Indoor Invitational. It marks the first time that a member of the men's program has earned an SAA postseason award.

Faal also competed with the 4-by-400-meter relay team that finished second at the conference meet with a time of 3:22.61. He was joined by junior Rodrigo Meade and fellow freshmen Marcus Alvarez and Justin Hazel, putting those three on the All-SAA Second Team.

Alvarez also finished second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.80 seconds, while Meade tallied a second-place finish in the 1500 with a time of 4:02.8. 

That trio was joined on the All-SAA Second Team by freshman Jacob Hadden, who earned a second-place nod in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He completed the course in 9:39.5 to earn the silver medal at the event. 

The honor served as the second career all-conference nod for Meade, who also took All-SAA Second Team accolades in 2017. It was the first career All-SAA appearance for the other four.

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