Cal Lutheran Freshman Bernard Earns Berth in NAIA 400-Meter Sprint Final

Darren Bernard of Cal Lutheran continued his stellar freshman year Friday, qualifying for today’s 400-meter sprint final in the NAIA track and field championships at Azusa Pacific.

Bernard, from Thousand Oaks High, finished fourth in his semifinal in 47.35 seconds, three-tenths of a second off his school record. His time was the seventh fastest in the qualifying round.

“I’m ecstatic about qualifying,” Bernard said. “The competition level is better than what I expected. These guys start fast and finish fast. They really move out. My goal for the finals is to run 46.2.”


Regals Coach Tom Green is optimistic about Bernard’s chances.

“Darren ran really relaxed, but in the finals, he’ll have to put it all together,” Green said. “He should be in the top six and be an All-American.”

In the women’s competition, Susan Bluhm was eliminated after placing sixth in her 400-meter heat (59.21).

Cal Lutheran also will be represented in the discus by men’s school record-holder Torii Lehr and women’s record-holder Vicki Gurney.