EUGENE, Ore. -- Five multi-talented high school student-athletes from across the country have signed national letters of intent to compete for the University of Oregon, Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna announced Friday.
The five are Ben Dejarnette of Mechanicsville, Va., Mac Fleet of San Diego, Calif., Elijah Greer of Lake Oswego, Ore., Mitchell Hunt of Fremont, Neb., and Elliott Jantzer of Medford, Ore.
"These talented student-athletes are great additions to the impressive tradition of the Men of Oregon," said Lananna. "This recruiting class meets our goal of maintaining our strength in our traditional events, while bringing in a wide range of individuals who have performed successfully at national-level meets around the country.
"Coach Andy Powell has done a remarkable job in attracting them to the University of Oregon and we are thrilled to welcome this class to the Track Town community."
Greer set a personal best of 1:47.68 to win the 800 meters at the 2008 USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Not only did his finish earn him a spot on the U.S. Junior World Team, but his time led the nation’s prep ranks and was the fourth-fastest ever by a high school runner in the United States. It was also the fastest time ever run by a junior and broke the Oregon state high school record.
During the 2008 high school season, Greer won the 6A championship in the 800 meters for Lake Oswego High School in a winning time of 1:50.60. He was also the Three Rivers League district champion at both 800 and 1,500 meters. As a sophomore in 2007, Greer was the state champion at 1,500 meters (3:57.76), in addition to winning the district meet.
Greer was recently named the Johnny Carpenter Prep Athlete of the Year at the Oregon Sports Awards.
Fleet cemented his status as one of the nation’s top prep runners by winning the junior mile at the Feb. 7 Reebok Boston Indoor Games. His winning time was 4:09.06, less than a second off his personal best.
He was the 2008 CIF Division 3 cross country individual champion for University City High School, covering the 5,000 meter course in 15:08. He was named the San Diego Union-Tribune Runner of the Year. Fleet finished ninth at the CIF cross country championships as a freshman in 2006.
On the track, Fleet ranked seventh in the state of California at 1,600 meters last season with a time of 4:12.81. That time won the 2008 state regional meet and qualified him for the CIF championships, where he placed third in the 1,600 meters in 4:13.33.
During his junior season, Fleet ranked eighth nationally in the 800 meters with a best time of 1:50.40. As a sophomore, Fleet ranked 10th nationally in the mile (4:08.92). His best time in the 1,500 meters, 3:50.48, also came as a sophomore.
"Elijah Greer’s and Mac Fleet’s performances in high school qualify them as some of the best student-athletes in the country," said Lananna. "The fact that Elijah and Elliott Jantzer and their families, and coaches are all Oregonians is also really special.
"Coach Powell and I have had the good fortune of developing a wonderful relationship with these young men. They are all outstanding students and gifted athletes."
A Nike Cross Nationals qualifier, Jantzer is a six-time Oregon state champion over an impressive range of distances.
He is a two-time defending Oregon state cross country champion. He won his first 4A crown as a junior in 2007 (15:35) and repeated as a senior in 2008 (15:42.8). Jantzer was third as a sophomore in 2006 (16:16).
In addition to the two cross country titles, Jantzer is a four-time state track champion for Phoenix High School. After first scoring at the state meet as a freshman in 2006 by placing third in the 3,000 meters (8:59.7), he won both the 1,500 meters (4:00.10) and the 3,000 meters (8:45.18) as a sophomore and followed that again with wins as a junior in the 1,500 meters (3:58.53, a personal best) and 3,000 meters (8:40.47). He won every 1,500- and 3,000-meter race he entered as a junior and set his personal best in the 3,000 meters, 8:37.60, at the 2008 XO Invitational.
Jantzer was also a state 2008 point-scorer in the 400 meters, with his third-place finish (49.46), and on the 4x400 meter relay team that placed fifth.
Competing for Atlee High School, Dejarnette finished second in both the 1,600 meters and the 3,200 meters at the 2008 Virginia state meet. He ran 4:14.84 in the 1,600 meter race and 9:25.18 at 3,200 meters.
In cross country, Dejarnette finished second in the 2008 Virginia State AAA meet as a senior after winning the Central Regional Championships. He was named the Richmond Times Dispatch Runner of the Year for the season, during which he also won the McDonald’s XCountry Festival at Maymont and the Capital District meet.
Hunt was the 2008 Nebraska state champion at 3,200 meters where he ran 9:25.32, after finishing sixth in the 3,200 meters as a sophomore (9:53.08). He also scored points for Fremont High School in the 1,600 meters, where he finished second (4:26.60) and the 800 meters (eighth, 1:57.18), and ran the lead leg of Fremont’s second-place 3,200 meter relay team.
Hunt also won the 2008 Mid-America Winter Track & Field Classic title at 3,200 meters, beating a field of runners from throughout the Plains states by 38 seconds, running a time of 9:32.21. He finished second in the 3,200 meters at the 2007 Mid-America Winter Track & Field Classic, running 9:58.09.
In cross country, Hunt was fourth at the 2008 Nebraska Class A Championships in a time of 16:38. He won the 2007 UNK Class A Cross Country Invite, covering the 5,000 meter course in 16:26.37, and was 13th at the Nebraska Class A Cross Country Championships as a junior (16:49.68).
The five signees will join an Oregon team in 2009-10 that will feature All-Americans A.J. Acosta, Chad Barlow, Ashton Eaton, Kenny Klotz, Daniel Mercado, Diego Mercado, Luke Puskedra, Andrew Wheating and Alex Wolff.
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