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Stray, Relays, Hersey Win at Oregon Preview
Release Date: 03/19/2011
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EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon swept the relays and saw individual wins in numerous events, including Eric Hersey in the men's 110 meter hurdles and 400 meter hurdles, Jordan Stray in the men's hammer and Lauryn Newson in the women's 200 meters Saturday at the Oregon Preview.

Sally Kipyego and Chris Thompson of Oregon Track Club Elite also set meet records in the men's and women's 3,000 meters, respectively, before a Hayward Field crowd of 5,962 on a sunny and showery spring afternoon.

Oregon captured all four relays, and set a meet record in the women's 4x400 meter relay. The all-newcomer team of Devin Gosberry, Chizoba Okodogbe, Laura Roesler and Phyllis Francis won in 3:44.85. The women's 4x100 relay just missed a meet record but was perhaps more impressive. The team of Alexandria Davidson, Amber Purvis, Newson and English Gardner won in 44.61, which was the fourth-fastest time in school history.

"The women stepped up today," said Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. "Women that normally run the 800's ran the 1,500 meter or 3,000 meter race. The women's 4x100 relay team ran fast for the weather conditions."

Newson came back to win the 200 meters in 24.16, while Gardner captured the 400 meters in 56.20.

"It was a good really debut here, I really appreciated the crowd that came out," said Newson, a junior transfer from Richmond, Calif. "I really like how involved the community is with track and field here, it's not just a spectator sport."

The winning relays for the men were Vernell Warren, Mike Berry, Bryan Harper and Matt Butcher in the 4x400 meters, who crossed the tape in 41.04, and Josh Smith, Hersey, Harper and Mike Berry in the 4x400 meter, who won in 3:21.77.

Hersey was actually the three-time champion on Saturday. The junior from Los Altos, Calif., dominated in winning the men's 110 meter hurdles in 14.31 into a strong head wind. He also just missed a personal best in winning the 400 meter hurdles in 53.04.

Stray had his best season opener as a Duck, improving on all four throws in the men's hammer to win at 214-1/65.26m. That was three feet off a personal best for the senior from Centralia, Wash.

"It was a great series to open up with," said Stray. "I got one foot better every throw I did except for one throw. It felt good out there. To get within two feet of my PR on the opener is great. It feels good going into the next meet."

Kipyego shattered Annette Peters' 20-year-old meet record of 9:02.60 in the women's 3,000 meters by running a blistering 8:51.07. Lanie Thompson of Oregon was second in that race in 9:37.98.

"My goal was to go out and give a good effort and run hard," said Kipyego. "I felt pretty good, but it was kind of difficult to run on my own, but it felt great.

"It's a good indication that I'm at 8 minutes and 51 seconds that we're in the right direction for the season. My goal is to try and make the Kenya team for the Olympics."

Thompson followed that in the men's 3,000 meters by winning in 7:52.64 to erase Jordan McNamara's year-old record of 7:53.63. Oregon Bryce Burgess was second in 8:27.73.

OTC Elite's Tyler Mulder got in the record books by winning the men's 800 meters in 1:46.86. That snapped Shannon Lemora's 1995 time of 1:48.80.

Former Duck Britney Henry broke her own meet record in the women's hammer with a throw of 218-9/66.67m.

Sophomore Becca Friday had a three-second PR in a runner-up finish in section one of the women's 1,500 meters. Geena Gall of Oregon Track Club Elite won in 4:18.12, while Friday was next in 4:21.11.

"It never hurt to get a shot at first," said Friday. "It felt good for my first race of the outdoor season."

In the men's 1,500 meters, OTC Elite's Kevin Chelimo won in 3:49.31, while Oregon's Steve Finley was next in 3:51.53. It was the transfer from Virginia's first race as a Duck. Freshman Parker Stinson won the second section in 3:53.67.

The Ducks swept the pole vault, with Austin Ouderkirk taking the men's competition (16-0.75/4.90m) and Jordan Roskelley the women's (12-5.5/3.80m).

Rebecca Rhodes won the women's 400 meter hurdles in 1:03.23. The junior from Salem, Ore., also ran a legal-best 14.37 in a runner-up finish in the women's 100 meter hurdles.

Junior Danny Marconi tied for first in the high jump, clearing 6-9.5/2.07m.

Freshman Trevor Ferguson, competing unattached, won the men's triple jump in 48-10.25/14.89m.

Senior Amy Skofstad was the winner in the women's long jump, going 17-11/5.46m.

Sophomore Alexandria Davidson set a personal-best in the 100 meters, running 12.09 as the runner-up.

Junior Randall Horn hit a personal best in the men's discus, throwing 156-3/47.76m in a third-place finish.

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