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Track Opens Outdoor Season Hosting Oregon Preview
Release Date: 03/15/2012
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Just one week after the women captured their third straight NCAA Indoor Track & Field title, Oregon opens the 2012 outdoor season by hosting the Oregon Preview Sunday at Historic Hayward Field. The first events start at 12:30 p.m.

Single Meet Tickets - Reserved: $15; General Admission: $12 Adults, $10 Children/Seniors.
Promotions - 2012 Track & Field posters will be given away.
Free Youth Clinic - Sponsored by the City of Eugene, there will be a youth clinic prior to the Preview. Kids should meet at 10:15 a.m. at the corner of 17th and Agate.
Hayward Field Ticket Window - Opens at 11:30 a.m.
Gates Open - 11:30 a.m.

The Oregon Sports Network witl  webcast the Oregon Preview live on beginning at 12:30 p.m. Former Duck track coach Tom Heinonen will handle the announcing duties. A subscription to the O-Zone is required to watch the webcast

For live results, schedules and accepted entry lists, check Final results will also be posted on

The Oregon Preview has always been the opening act for Oregon's newcomers. In fact, at last year's preview, a future NCAA champion took her very first victory lap at Historic Hayward Field; that was English Gardner, who won the 400 meters at last year's Preview.

For the 2012 meet, a number of Ducks are slated to make their Hayward Field debuts. For the men in the running events, keep an eye on freshman Johnathan Cabral in the 110 hurdles, freshman Arthur Delaney (Gresham, Ore.) and junior Joeal Hotchkins in the 400 meters, freshman Jack Galpin (Medford, Ore.) and junior Korey Brown in the 800, freshman Russell Hornsby in the 1,500 meters and freshman Colby Alexander in the 3,000 meters. In the field rookies include freshman Greg Skipper (Oregon City, Ore.) in the hammer, freshman decathlete Dakotah Keys (Sweet Home, Ore.) in the discus and freshman Trevor Ferguson (Oregon City, Ore,) in the long jump.

For the women, those making their initial Hayward Field appearances in an Oregon uniform include freshman Claudia Francis in the 400 meters, freshman Molly Grabill in the 1,500 meters, freshman Allie Woodward in the 3,000 meters, freshman Anginae Monteverde in the 100 hurdles and freshman Anetra Brown in both the 100 and 400 hurdles. Women making their field debuts include freshman Jenna Prandini in the long jump, freshman Daphne Chambers (Springfield, Ore.) in the hammer, freshman Bailey Flynn (Beaverton, Ore.) in the javelin, freshman Lauren Sens in both the discus and the hammer and Monteverde in the pole vault

The Preview also has a number of Duck veterans, OTC Elite competitors and post-graduate entrants. OTC's Sally Kipyego destroyed the meet record in the 3,000 meters in 2011 (8:51.07) and will run that event again, along with teammate Julia Lucas. OTC's Geena Gall is in the 800 while Bridget Franek is in the 2,000 meter steeplechase. In the field, watch for former Duck Britney Henry in the hammer and current volunteer assistant coach Melissa Gergel in the pole vault.

For the men, OTC has Tyler Mulder in the 1,500, former Duck Shadrack Biwott and Stephen Pifer in the 3,000, Steve Finley in the 2,000 meter steeplechase, and Lucais MacKay in the hammer.

The Ducks have a number of veterans training through the Preview meet entered in "off" events. That includes NCAA champions Gardner and Amber Purvis in the 400, All-Americans Chizoba Okodogbe and Phyllis Francis in the 800 and All-Americans Alex Kosinski and Bronwyn Crossman in th 1,500 meters. The Preview will be Kosinski's first outdoor meet since 2010.

For the men, watch for Duck All-Americans Mike Berry in the 800 meters, Elijah Greer in the 1,500 and Boru Guyota in the 3,000. Sixth-year senior Travis Thompson also returns to the track for the first time in two years in the 1,500. In the field, 2011 Pac-10 runner-up Austin Ouderkirk is in the pole vault, Brian Schaudt is in the long jump and Britton Nelson returns from a redshirt season in the javelin.

The Women of Oregon won their third consecutive NCAA Indoor Track Field title last weekend in Nampa, Idaho. The Ducks were led by wins from Brianne Theisen in the pentathlon and English Gardner in the 60 meters, and also counted a runner-up finish in the distance medley relay (Becca Friday, Chizoba Okodogbe, Laura Roesler, Anne Kesselring). Oregon also scored in the 400 meters (Phyllis Francis), mile (Jordan Hasay, Friday) and the 3,000 meters (Hasay) for its 49 point total.

Theisen set the tone early with her third national title in the pentathlon. She won with 4,536 points, just 19 off her NCAA and Canadian record. Dorcas Akinniyi of Wisconsin was second with 4,299 points. The pentathlon wasn't a runaway, as Theisen actually trailed in a robust competition three events into her day. She looked extremely smooth in the 60 meters hurdles, the pentathlon's opening event. She won in 8.25 seconds, which was a personal best and broke her own school record for the second time this season. The time was worth 1,073 points. She then tied her own NCAA Championships meet record by clearing 1.84m/6-0.5 in the high jump. That clearance was tied for first with Akinniyi and was good for 1,029 points.

In the third event, the shot put, Theisen had a best throw of 12.46m/40-14.75 for 692 points. All three of Theisen's throws were within three inches of each other. But Akinniyi had a three-foot PR in the shot of 45-9.25 to take a four point lead on Theisen, 2,798-2,794, at that point in the competition. In the long jump, Theisen responded by going 19-6.25/5.95m on her second attempt to finish second in the event. Her 834 points put her back in the lead for good. She then locked up her sixth NCAA title overall by winning the 800 meters in 2:13.95 for 908 points.

Theisen became just the second three-time pentathlon champion in NCAA history, joining Arizona State's Jacquelyn Johnson (2006-08). After the meet, she was named the USTFCCCA national indoor field athlete of the year for the second straight season.

60 Meters
Getting off to a perfect start out of the blocks, the freshman from Voorhees, N.J., never trailed and scorched the tape in 7.12 seconds. That was not only a stadium record, but also the fourth-fastest 60 ever run by a collegian. It trailed only 7.09 run by both Lakya Brookings of South Carolina in 2011 and Angela Williams of USC in 2001, and a 7.10 timed by Williams in 2001.

Distance Medley Relay
In the final running event of the first night, the Ducks earned eight critical points in their chase to win a third straight NCAA title. Oregon's time of 11:05.85 was just good enough for second, behind Washington's 11:05.20, but ahead of Dartmouth's 11:06.29.

Becca Friday led off the 1,200 meter leg in 3:24.74, as the Ducks were second behind Florida. Chizoba Okodogbe took the 400 leg through in 53.90 as the Ducks closed on the Gators. Laura Roesler handled the 800 leg in 2:08.84, as the teams bunched up at the final exchange. Anne Kesselring, the defending NCAA Champion, then went with the Huskies on a late charge as the two Northwest rivals pulled clear of the pack for the 1-2 finish. Kesselring closed in 4:38.39.

Mile & 3,000 Meters
Oregon scored 11 points in the mile to extend its lead. Jordan Hasay ran out front nearly the entire second half of the race before getting passed by Lucy Van Dalen of Stony Brook and Aisha Praught of Illinois State in the last 20 meters. Van Dalen won in 4:39.76, Praught was next in 4:39.85 and Hasay timed 4:40.09. Friday, meanwhile, came from deep in the pack on the last two laps to pass at least four runners down the backstretch. The junior from Bellingham, Wash., took fourth in 4:40.24. Hasay came back to finish fourth in the 3,000 meters in 9:16.42.

400 Meters
The women also saw a terrific performance in the 400 meters from sophomore Phyllis Francis. Seeded 12th coming into the meet, the Queens, N.Y., native had a breakout championships. She finished fourth overall in an indoor personal best 53.01. That was the second-fastest time in school history.

On the men's side, Mike Berry broke the school record in the 400 meters, finishing third overall in a school-record 45.93. The sophomore from Seattle, Wash., broke Sammie Parker's school record of 45.95 set in 2005.

The University of Oregon and the Oregon Track Club Elite, in conjunction with the City of Eugene's Recreation Services, are sponsoring a free youth clinic for children ages 5-12 Sunday at 11 a.m. at Hayward Field  prior to the Ducks' outdoor season opener, the Oregon Preview.

Kids will be instructed by World and NCAA record-setting combined events athletes Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen, among a number of other UO and OTC Elite star track and field athletes and coaches.

Youngsters will have the opportunity to participate in running, long jump, hurdles and the "turbo" javelin.

All children will receive a ribbon, meet bib, snack, and free entrance to the Oregon Preview, which begins at 12:30 p.m., in addition to being able to participate in a special group photo and autograph session.

Those kids interested in participating are asked to bring their own running shoes, and check in beginning at 10:15 a.m. at the Agate Street entrance between Gates 8 and 9. Advanced registration is also available at the Sheldon Community Center (2445 Willakenzie Rd. until 5 p.m. Friday).

Participants will be sorted into Green (11-12), Yellow (8-10) and White (5-7) age groups.

The rotating clinic will feature three stations of the turbo javelin, long jump and hurdles, and will then conclude with running on the Hayward Field track. A group photo and autograph session will follow.

The University of Oregon will have NCAA Champions Theisen, Jordan Hasay and Anne Kesselring participating in the clinic, as well as All-Americans Mike Berry, Luke Puskedra, Trevor Dunbar, Parker Stinson, Mac Fleet and Becca Friday, and newcomers Sam Crouser, Alyssa Monteverde, Kimber Mattox and Jillian Weir.

OTC Elite athletes scheduled to participate include Eaton, Sally Kipyego, Russell Brown, Ian Dobson, Jemma Simpson, Stephen Pifer, Bridget Franek, Julia Lucas, Tyler Mulder, Jordan McNamara, Cyrus Hostetler and Steve Finley, as well as coach Harry Marra.

In the event of extreme weather, the clinic will be cancelled; check for more weather-related information.

The 2012 women's indoor track & field title was the 18th NCAA national championship in school history. The others are men's outdoor track & field in 1962, 1964, 1965, 1970 and 1984, men's indoor track & field in 2009, women's outdoor track & field in 1985, women's indoor track & field in 2010 and 2011, men's cross country in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 2007 and 2008, women's cross country in 1983 and 1987, and men's basketball in 1939.

A trio of NCAA champions, English Gardner, Jordan Hasay and Brianne Theisen, are on the 2012 Bowerman Award women's watch list. The award is presented annually to the top men's and women's collegiate student-athlete. Theisen is a five-time NCAA champion (heptathlon twice, pentathlon twice, outdoor 4x400 meter relay) and the NCAA record-holder in the pentathlon. Hasay was a double winner at the 2011 NCAA indoor meet (mile, 3,000 meters), while Gardner was the 2012 NCAA indoor 60 meter champ. Her time of 7.12 was the fourth-fastest ever run by a collegian.

Brianne Theisen used personal bests in the high jump and shot put to break the 30 year-old Canadian national record in the pentathlon Jan. 27 at the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge. Theisen totaled 4,555 points to eclipse the previous Canadian mark of 4,550 points set by Jill Ross-Giffen in 1982. She also broke her own NCAA record of 4,540 points set at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium at the 2011 NCAA Championships. Theisen, who was competing in her first track meet of any kind in more than 10 months, opened the competition by winning the 60 meter hurdles in 8.38 seconds. That was just .03 of her personal best and school record time of 8.35 seconds from a season ago. She followed that with a remarkable performance in the high jump, culminating in a third-attempt clearance at 6-2/1.88m. That was an all-conditions personal best and also broke the UO indoor record by nearly two inches. She cleared all bars on her first attempt leading up to the jump at 6-2, other than needing a second attempt at 5-10.5/1.79m. Theisen and Laurel Roberts previously shared the mark at 6-0/1.83m. The clearance at 6-2 was good for 1,080 points. Theisen then earned her second PR of the night in the shot put by throwing 42-2.75/12.87m, which scored 719 points. The senior from Humboldt, Sask., followed that by going 19-8/5.99m in the long jump for 846 points, before a relatively easy 800 meters of 2:16.90 and 866 points that just pushed her past Ross-Giffen.

In addition to Theisen's marks in the pentathlon and high jump, the Ducks have broken four other school records in 2012. Theisen has one of those from the 8.34 she ran in the 60 meter hurdles at the MPSF Championships. English Gardner claimed the 60 meter record at 7.12, Anne Kesselring snapped the mile mark by running 4:32.61 and Jordan Hasay got the 3,000 meter record in 9:03.95.

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