Oregon hosts one of the most anticipated scored meets of the 2012 season on Saturday, April, 7 - the 23rd Pepsi Team Invitational with three-time defending NCAA men's and women's champion Texas A&M and Pac-12 rivals UCLA and Washington joining the Ducks for a classic track & field showcase at Historic Hayward Field. The early field events get underway at 10:15 a.m., while the running events, and the majority of the field competition, begin at 12:30 p.m.
The Oregon Sports Network will webcast the Pepsi Team Invitational live in HD for FREE on www.goducks.com beginning at noon. Former Duck track coach Tom Heinonen will handle the announcing duties; he will be joined by a number of guest hosts throughout the meet. The first-of-its-kind HD webcast of a collegiate track and field meet is available free of charge on www.goducks.com.
For live results, schedules and accepted entry lists, check www.goducks.com. Final results will also be posted on www.goducks.com.
The international scoring system will be in place for the Pepsi Team Invitational, which allows schools to score a maximum of two competitors in each event (one team per relay). Individual event scoring is 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Relays will be 9-7-6-5.
TEAMS AT THE PEPSI
Saturday marks the 23rd Pepsi Team Invitational. The Oregon women have won the Pepsi 17 times, while the men have 16 Pepsi titles. Texas A&M returns to the Pepsi meet for the second time in three years. During their last visit in 2010, the Aggies set five meet records, but Oregon swept the competition, outscoring A&M 186-151 on the men's side and 212-175.5 on the women's side. Texas A&M would get revenge later that year; the Aggies won their second of three consecutive NCAA men's and women's outdoor titles that June at Historic Hayward Field.
UCLA returns to the Pepsi meet for the first time since 1994. The Bruins swept both the men's and women's meet that year. UCLA was led by Marcus Reed's wins in both the 100 and 200 and John Godina's victory in the shot put. The Bruin women were led by an impressive double win by Karen Hecox in the 1,500 and 3,000. Amy Acuff also captured the high jump (6-0) and Valeyta Althouse won the shot put with a throw of 56-6/17.22m, one of the oldest meet records still standing.
Washington returns to the Pepsi Team Invitational for the 14th time overall. The Huskies have one men's title (2006) and have finished second four times. The UW women have never won the Pepsi, but have four runner-up finishes to their credit
As always, the Pepsi Invitational brings together an intriguing mix of each team's strengths. The 2012 version is no different, with more than three dozen All-Americans combined between the four men's and women's teams. Some of the events to watch:
Women's 200 Meters
Oregon's 60 meter indoor NCAA champion English Gardner leads a fast field.
Men's 200 Meters
Fifth-ranked Prezel Hardy, Jr. of Texas A&M headlines a field that also includes James Alaka and Ryan Hamilton of Washington and Karlton Rolle of UCLA. Alaka, Rolle and Hamilton are also all in the 100.
Women's 400 Meters
Jordan Carlson, who ran the 400 meter leg on Washington's NCAA champion distance medley relay team, lines up against Oregon All-Americans Phyllis Francis and Chizoba Okodogbe.
Men's 400 Meters
All-Americans Mike Berry of Oregon and Ricky Babineaux of Texas A&M are the top two seeds.
Women's 800 Meters
Intriguing middle distance race featuring Washington's Katie Flood, who anchored the Huskies' NCAA champion distance medley relay team, and 2011 NCAA outdoor champion Anne Kesselring of Oregon. Ducks' All-American Laura Roesler, the 2011 Pepsi 800 champion, is also in the strong field.
Men's 800 Meters
No. 6-ranked Travis Thompson of Oregon leads a field that also includes All-American Bradley Whitley of Washington.
Women's 1,500 Meters
All-Americans Megan Goethals and Christine Babcock of Washington are joined by Duck All-Americans Becca Friday and Lanie Thompson.
Men's 1,500 Meters
Another strong middle distance event, led by four All-Americans: Elijah Greer of Oregon, Will Barry of Texas A&M and Ryan Soberanis of Washington.
Women's 5,000 Meters
A potential battle between All-Americans Alex Kosinski of Oregon and Natosha Rogers of Texas A&M in this event.
Men's 5,000 Meters
An underrated race two runners currently ranked in the national top 10 (No. 8 Chris Kwiatkowski of Oregon and No. 10 Kevin Burnett of Texas A&M), plus All-America newcomer Trevor Dunbar of Oregon and five Bruins, led by Dustin Fay and Kent Morikawa.
Women's 100 Meter Hurdles
NCAA combined events champ Brianne Theisen will see third-ranked Donique' Flemings in the short hurdle race.
Men's 110 Meter Hurdles
One of the feature short races of the afternoon pits Wayne Davis of Texas A&M, an All-American and ranked sixth nationally, against Oregon's Johnathan Cabral, the national freshman hurdle leader who is ranked ninth overall.
3,000 Meter Steeplechase
Watch for distance specialist and All-American Henry Lelei of Texas A&M for the men and tenth-ranked Taylor Wallace of Oregon for the women. Transfer Kimber Mattox (Bend, Ore./Willamette University) is also slated to make her Oregon debut.
Women's High Jump
Oregon freshman Chancey Summers is ranked No. 10 nationally.
Women's Pole Vault
Could be an interesting competition between All-Americans Laura Asimakis of Texas A&M and Logan Miller of Washington.
Men's Pole Vault
All-American Michael Woepse of UCLA will be joined by Eugene native JJ Juiffs of Washington.
UCLA features a pair of big-time performers in the hammer. Ida Storm was the 2012 NCAA runner-up in the women's indoor weight throw and is ranked fifth nationally in the hammer, while Alec Faldermeyer was fourth in the men's hammer at the 2011 NCAA meet and is ranked second nationally in the event.
In what could be the feature field event of the afternoon, All-American and top-ranked Sam Humphries of Texas A&M squares off against freshman Sam Crouser of Oregon, ranked sixth nationally, and Joe Zimmerman of Washington. The event will also mark the season debut for Oregon's Britton Nelson.
2011 PEPSI TEAM INVITATIONAL RECAP
A year ago, Duck rookies won eight events to lead an Oregon sweep. Both competitions were close throughout, with the women scoring 205 points to win over Nebraska (195.5) Stanford (143.5) and Washington (112). The men claimed the title with 195 points, followed by Nebraska (181), Washington (159) and Stanford (121).
Freshman English Gardner's breakout performance included wins in the 100 and 200 meters in addition to her anchor leg on the winning 4x100 meter relay team. She won the 100 in 11.62, which was the fifth-fastest time in school history. She set a personal-best in winning the 200 in 24.06. She then joined with Mandy White, Amber Purvis and Lauryn Newson to win the 4x100 relay in 44.59, a time that ranks No. 5 in school history.
Freshman Mike Berry was just as impressive for the men, dusting the field by nearly two seconds in winning the 400 meters in 45.79. That was fifth-fastest time in school history. He also anchored the 4x400 meter relay team which locked up the team title for the Duck men by winning in 3:10.93.
Other rookie winners included freshmen Boru Guyota in the men's 800 meters, Laura Roesler in the women's 800 meters and Lanie Thompson in the women's 3,000 meters steeplechase, and transfers Steve Finley in the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase and Justin Frick in the high jump.
For the men, Matthew Centrowitz and A.J. Acosta set the tone early by winning the 5,000 and 1,500 meters, respectively. David Klech ran the ninth-best time in school history to win the 110 hurdles. Klech also joined Berry, Bryan Harper and Greer on that winning 4x400 relay.
For the women, Jordan Hasay won a thrilling women's 1,500 meters, clipping a hard-charging Katie Flood of Washington by a quarter of a second. The Arroyo Grande, Calif., native crossed the line in 4:18.61, with Flood at 4:18.80.
Purvis ran the fourth-fastest time in school history in winning the 400 meters in 52.80. Junior Bronwyn Crossman set an :18 personal best in winning the 5,000 meters in 16:31.42. Senior Jamesha Youngblood captured the long jump at 20-2.5.
USC TROJAN INVITATIONAL RECAP
Oregon collected 11 wins - half from freshmen - at the March 23-23 USC Trojan Invitational. Among the freshmen winners were Sam Crouser in the men's javelin (239-7/73.02m; No. 5 in UO history), Johnathan Cabral in the 110 hurdles (13.76 - No. 4 in UO history), Chancey Summers in the women's high jump (5-10.5/1.79m; No. 6 in UO history), Molly Grabill in the women's 5,000 (16:40.08) and Claudia Francis in the women's 800 (2:10.22). Not to be outdone, the veterans claimed titles in the women's 400 (English Gardner - 53.73; No. 10 in UO history); women's 1,500 (Anne Kesslering - 4:16.75), men's 1,500 (Boru Guyota - 3:47.89), men's triple jump (Brian Schaudt - 50-8.75/15.46m), women's shot put (Laura Bobek - 48.5/13.93m) and women's steeple (Taylor Wallace - 10:33.92). Elijah Greer and Travis Thompson were impressive in their 2012 debuts. Greer was second in the men's 800 in 1:46.84, while Thompson was fourth in 1:47.82. Sophomore Phyllis Francis ran 23.42 to win her section of the women's 200, while Ethan Powell had nearly a 20-foot PR in the javelin (223-7/68/14m).
CABRAL IMPRESSIVE IN DEBUT
Freshman Johnathan Cabral opened some eyes in his outdoor debut. He won the 110 hurdles in 13.93 seconds. That was tied for the ninth-fastest time in school history. He improved that to 13.76 at the USC Trojan Invitational, tops among freshman this season. More impressively, Cabral has now run the second-fastest freshman 110 hurdle time in school history. Only Eric Mitchum went faster as a frosh, going 13.73 at the 1989 Pac-10 meet.
FRESHMEN PUT ON PREVIEW SHOW
Freshmen Johnathan Cabral and Jenna Prandini impressed in their Oregon debuts and the women's 4x100 meter relay team broke the meet record March 18 at the Oregon Preview in front of 5,044 at Historic Hayward Field. Cabral jumped out to a quick start in the men's 110 meter hurdles and powered through the last half of the race to win in 13.93. That was tied for the ninth-fastest time in school history. Prandini played a key role in a pair of relay victories. She took the third leg on the meet record-setting 4x100 meter relay team and anchored the winning 4x400 meter relay squad. The 4x100 bettered the old mark by .01, winning in 44.29 seconds. Lauryn Newson led off and then Amber Purvis blazed down the backstretch on the second leg. The senior then handed off to Prandini, making her Oregon debut on the turn, before yielding to English Gardner, the 2012 NCAA 60 meter champion who blazed down the home stretch to break the meet record in the fifth-fastest time in school history. Prandini finished the afternoon by anchoring the 4x400 meter relay team. Devin Gosberry, Chizoba Okodogbe and Alexandria Davidson joined Prandini in winning in 3:48.37. Football's Dior Mathis helped lead a solid day in the sprints. The sophomore from Detroit, Mich., won the 100 meters in 10.73, his fastest time as a Duck. Fellow footballer B.J. Kelley won his heat and was second overall in 10.84. Those two came back to run the first two legs of the winning 4x100 meter relay. Mathis, Kelley, Arthur Delaney and Joeal Hotchkins crossed the line in 40.68. Delaney, a freshman from Gresham, Ore., came back to win the 400 meters in 47.63. Former Duck Britney Henry broke a meet record in the women's hammer by throwing 232-1/70.73m. Duck freshman Daphne Chambers from Springfield, Ore., was second at 152-3/46.41m. Portland State's Geronne Black set a meet record in winning the women's 100 meters in 11.72. Newson was second in 11.82 - the 10th fastest time in school history - and she also won the 200 in 24.24. Other Duck women who collected victories at the Preview meet included senior Alex Kosinski, who won the women's 1,500 meters in 4:30.61 and senior Amber Purvis, who captured the 400 in 54.64. Sophomore Laura Bobek swept the shot put and the discus. The Astoria, Ore., native threw 43-4.25/13.21m in the shot and 138-0/42.26m in the discus. For the men, the 4x400 meter relay team of Bruce Burbank, Russell Hornsby, Travis Thompson and Bryan Harper was victorious in 3:13.58. Junior Austin Ouderkirk took the pole vault at 16-0.75/4.90m and junior Tyler Pinkney won the triple jump in 47-6.25/14.48m. In the men's hammer freshman Greg Skipper finished third at 204-0/62.17m in his Oregon home debut.
OREGON WINS THIRD STRAIGHT NCAA INDOOR TITLE
The Women of Oregon won their third consecutive NCAA Indoor Track Field title March 9-10 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.