EUGENE, Ore – The Oregon track and field team signed 13 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2015 season, head coach Robert Johnson announced, Wednesday. The Ducks will bring in eight men and five women hailing from eight different states.
“We are excited to welcome these 13 student-athletes to the Oregon family,” Johnson said. “This is a very talented group which will continue to move our team forward. Our staff did an outstanding job, going coast-to-coast to find the right people for our program, and we couldn’t be happier with the results of their hard work. This is just the beginning of the signing period, we have already hit the recruiting trail again and will continue to look for the right additions to our roster next year.”
The women’s signees include four Track and Field News All-Americans and combined to win 18 individual state championships. In total, the soon-to-be Ducks have accrued nine Track and Field News All-America awards, highlighted by the trio of Ariana Washington, a four-time All-American, National High School Cross Country Champion Sarah Baxter and World Youth Championships bronze medalist Raevyn Rogers. Joining them are Texas hurdles champion Alaysha Johnson and four-time state champion Ashlee Moore.
The men’s class encompasses four state champions, highlighted by Nate Moore, a 2013 Track and Field News All-American triple jumper last year, and Blake Haney, who placed fifth at the World Youth Championships in the 1,500 - the highest by an American at the event. Joining them is Oregon’s top decathlete, Liam Henshaw, Pennsylvania javelin thrower Jhett Janis and New Jersey 3,200 champion Kyle Levermore.
Three members of the class signed NLIs to join the Oregon football team and are also anticipated to compete in track and field as well. They are 100-meter star and running back Tony James (FW Buchholz High School / Gainesville, Fla.), athlete Charles Nelson (Seabreeze High School / Daytona Beach, Fla.) who was the No. 1 long jumper in Florida, and defensive back Khalil Oliver (Rocky Mountain / Meridian, Idaho) who was the Idaho State Meet 110 hurdles champion (14.21) and runner up in the triple jump (46-2.5).
Sarah Baxter (Simi Valley High School / Simi Valley, Calif.)
Personal Bests: 1,600 - 4:49.33; 3,200 - 10:06.74
Baxter was a four-time California Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year, one of only four athletes to earn the honor every year in high school. While a member of the Simi Valley High School cross country team, she won four California State Championships and all-but-one race during her career. She is also a two-time Nike Cross Country Nationals Champion and holds the historic Mt. SAC cross country course record (16:00). On the track, Baxter is a three-time 3,200-meter state champion, and was the second fastest in the nation with a personal-best time of 10:06.74 last year. Her accomplishments have helped her garner two Track and Field News All-America certificates.
Alaysha Johnson (Spring High School / Houston, Texas)
Personal Bests: 100 Hurdles - 13.84; 300 Hurdles - 41.24; 400 Hurdles - 1:00.20
Johnson is a three-time Texas 5A State Champion, winning the 300 hurdles in 2012 and doubling up in 2013 with wins in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles. She kept improving through her junior season in 2013 which led to statewide and national recognition. Johnson was ranked second in the nation in 2013 and was named the Gatorade Texas Track and Field Athlete of the Year as well as a Track and Field News All-American in the 300 hurdles.
Ashlee Moore (Hamilton High School / Chandler, Ariz.)
Personal Bests: Heptathlon - 5,082; High Jump - 5-10; Long Jump – 19-’9.5; 100 Hurdles - 13.89
Moore is a four-time state champion in Arizona, claiming titles in both the long jump and the high jump. She qualified for four events at the state meet as a junior, competing in the 100, 100 hurdles, long jump and won the high jump. Her versatility has made her a standout heptathlete, an event in which she was crowned the 2013 Arizona State Champion and the Arcadia Invitational Champion, as she returns for her senior season ranked second in the nation. The Hamilton High School star also competed in the heptathlon at the 2013 USATF Junior Nationals where she finished fourth.
Raevyn Rogers (Kinkaid High School / Houston, Texas)
Personal Bests: 400 - 53.34; 800 - 2:03.32; 200 - 25.13
Rogers left her mark at the 2013 World Youth Championships where she was a gold medalist as part of a relay team in the Swedish Medley after earning a bronze medal in the 800. At the USATF Youth Championships, Rogers won the 800 while finishing runner-up in the 400. The 800 is her featured event, where she is a two-time Track and Field News All-American and was ranked second nationally as a junior while also being ranked sixth in the 400.
Ariana Washington (Long Beach Poly High School / Signal Hill, Calif.)
Personal Bests: 100 - 11.39; 200 - 23.18
Washington picked up two medals at the 2013 World Youth Championships, earning silver in the 100 and bronze in the 200. She has been a dominant sprinter, winning 100 and 200 at the California State Championships in both 2012 and 2013, leading to Track and Field News All-America status in both events during her sophomore and junior years. In 2012, Washington was named the Penn Relays High School Girls Athlete of the Meet.
Blake Haney (Stockdale High School / Bakersfield, Calif.)
Personal Bests: 1,500 - 3:44.69; Mile - 4:07.78; 3,200 - 8:48.58
Haney placed fifth in the 1,500 at the 2013 World Youth Championships which is the top finish by an American in the event’s history. He crossed the finish line in 3:44.69, which is ninth on the all-time high school record list. During his junior season at Stockdale High School, he won both the 1,600 and 3,200 at the California High School Championships in 2013 and rolled his success into the following cross country season where he was named the 2014 Gatorade California Cross Country Runner of the Year. 2013 proved to be a successful year for Haney all-around as he finished runner-up at the Nike Cross Country Nationals and won the 1,500 at the 2013 USATF Youth Championships after being ranked No. 1 in the event.Liam Henshaw (Marist High School / Eugene, Ore.)
Personal Bests: Decathlon - 6,676; High Jump – 6-6.25; Long Jump – 23-1; Pole Vault – 15-6
Henshaw is the 2013 Oregon 5A long jump and pole vault champion and set a OSAA Championships meet record with his vault of 15-6 in 2013. But Henshaw brings versatility to the table as well and was the fourth-ranked decathlete as a junior and finished second in the decathlon at the Arcadia Invitational.
Jhett Janis (Cocalico High School / Stevens, Pa.)
Personal Best: Javelin - 204-6
Janis was ranked 10th in the nation in the javelin as a junior at Cocalico high school where he was also a football star. Janis will enter his senior season as the seventh-ranked javelin thrower in the country.
Kyle Levermore (Don Bosco Preperatory High School / Mahwah, N.J.)
Personal Bests: 1,600 - 4:15.45; 3,200 - 8:55.41; 5,000 - 14:55.35
Levermore won the 3,200 at the 2013 New Jersey Meet of Champions and is also the Bergen County record holder in the 3,200. While competing at the Penn Relays in 2013, Levermore finished sixth in the 3,000.
Nate Moore (Castro Valley High School / Fremont, Calif.)
Personal Bests: Long Jump – 24-11.75; Triple Jump – 50-11.75
Moore won both the long jump and the triple jump at the 2013 California State Championships with personal-best marks which led to him being named a Track and Field News All-American in the triple jump. As a junior, Moore was ranked fourth in the nation in both jumps and returns for his senior season ranked second each.