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Ducks Track & Field BIO
A.J. Acosta
Player Profile:
A.J. Acosta 56150
Position: Middle Distance
Height: 6'2"
Year: Redshirt Senior
City/State: Oceanside, Calif.
High School: El Camino
Experience: 3 Letters

2-Time NCAA Champion (Distance Medley Relay, twice)
8-Time All-American
School Record (1,500 Meters)

A 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials competitor in the 1,500 meters and two-time member of Oregon’s NCAA Champion distance medley relay team. Matched Olympic Gold Medalist Joaquim Cruz' hallowed school record in the 1,500 meters, 3:36.48, in Belgium during July of 2010. Herculean effort at the 2010 Pac-10 Championships where he scored in the 1,500, 5,000 and 3,000 meter steeplechase. Followed that with a runner-up finish in the 1,500 meters at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Seven-time All-American reestablished himself among the nation’s elite middle distance runners after redshirting the 2009 outdoor season. 2010 USA Championships competitor in the 1,500 meters. Had a terrific 2007-08 season that saw him break the legendary Steve Prefontaine’s school record for the indoor mile (3:58.52) and earn a pair of All-America awards (indoor mile, outdoor 1,500 meters). UO’s first runner to compete in both NCAA indoor mile and outdoor 1,500 events the same year — something he’s done three times now. Ran fastest indoor mile nationally among collegiate freshmen in 2007 (4:00.37). Also a two-time U.S. junior champion in outdoor 1,500 meters — only the third ever to repeat the feat in the event. Ranks among Oregon's top five for the 1,500 meters (t-first, 3:36.48), mile (third, 3:53.76), and indoor mile (fourth, 3:58.08). Has outdoor eligibility only for 2011.

2010-11: 2nd Team All-American (1,500 meters). Outdoors - After the collegiate season, advanced to the final of the 1,500 meters at the USA Championships. Ran a season-best 3:40.28 in the semifinals to advance to the final, where he was 11th (3:50.02). Lowered seasonal time to 3:38.77 at the KBC Night of Athletics in Heusden, the Netherlands, where he was the runner-up in the B section. Wrapped college career in the 1,500 meters at the NCAA Championships. Qualified for the NCAA Championships with a strong run at the NCAA West Preliminary meet. Ran a season-best 3:44.68 in the quarterfinal to advance to the NCAA Championships. Gutsy effort again at the Pac-10 Championships where he ran the 1,500, 5,000 and 3,000 meter steeplechase. Was seventh in the 1,500 meters (3:49.42) to help Oregon win its fifth straight Pac-10 title. Anchored Oregon's outdoor school record in the distance medley relay (9:28.01) at the Oregon Twilight with a 4:05.60 1,600 meter leg. Helped Oregon tie UCLA by taking second in the 3,000 meter steeplechase (9:08.54). Won the 1,500 meters at the Pepsi Team Invitational in 3:46.99 to help lead the Ducks to the team itle. Excellent performance in season debut at the Stanford Invitational, where he finished third in the 1,500 meters (3:45.20). Indoors - Competing unattached, ran 3:58.49 at the Husky Classic to finish fifth in an excellent field of collegians and professionals. Lowered that time to 3:58.39 (unattached) to win the mile at the UW Final Qualifier. Cross Country - Oregon's No. 4 finisher in 24:19 (8,000 meters) to help Oregon win the Notre Dame Invitational. Ran 12th at the Bill Dellinger Invitational in 24:13.39 (8,000 meters). Posted best career Pac-10 finish of eighth at the league meet, covering 8,000 meters in 23:43.16 to help the Ducks finish second. Followed that with another career best at the NCAA West Regional, taking 16th in 30:31.65 (10,000 meters) as Oregon's No. 4 runner to help the Ducks win the meet and advance to the NCAA Championships. Wrapped cross country career as Oregon's No. 5 scorer at the NCAA Championships in 31:42.0 (10,000 meters). Pac-10 all-academic honorable mention. Season Bests: Outdoors - 1,500 Meters - 3:38.77, KBC Night of Athletics, Heusden, Belgium (7/16/11); 3,000 Meter Steeplechase - 9:08.54, UCLA Dual, Los Angeles, Calif. (4/17/11). Indoors - Mile - 3:58.39, UW Final Qualifier, Seattle, Wash. (3/5/11).

2009-10: National runner-up at 1,500 meters. Outdoors - Ranked third nationally at 1,500 meters and 18th in the country at 5,000 meters. Became an NCAA outdoor scorer for the first time in his career with a runner-up finish in the 1,500 meters at the national championships at Historic Hayward Field. Was part of Oregon's historic 1-2-3 sweep in the event, finishing second in 3:48.01, with Andrew Wheating first (3:47.94) and Matthew Centrowitz third (3:48.08). Advanced to the final by winning his semifinal heat in 3:40.95. Two weeks earlier at the NCAA West Regional, won his first round race in 3:42.76 and then cruised to a fourth-place finish in the quarterfinals in 3:46.27 to move on to Eugene. Also ran the 5,000 at the regional meet. Key performer in the Ducks' fourth straight Pac-10 championship, as he took second in the 1,500 meters in 3:41.83, ran third in the 5,000 meters in a personal best 13:46.87 and was fourth in the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 8:52.62, a 40 second PR. Helped Oregon win a "Wagon Wheel" at the Penn Relays by running the third leg of the winning mile relay (16:15.14). Ran a then-personal-best 3:39.44 in the 1,500 meters at the Oregon Relays. Took second in the 1,500 meters against UCLA (3:47.44). Also ran the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Pepsi Team Invitational and the Oregon Twilight. After the college season, raced at the USA Track & Field Championships, where he clocked 3:41.91 in the 1,500 meters and was the fastest non-qualifier for the final. At the Prefontaine Classic in July, set a personal-best in the mile, 3:53.76, that was the third fastest mile in school history. Went to Europe, where he matched Joaquim Cruz' 1984 record in the 1,500 meters (3:36.48) in a third-place finish at Heusden, Belgium. Also ran the 1,500 at Tangier, Morocco, where he took fifth in 3:38.35. Pac-10 all-academic honorable mention. Indoors - NCAA champion (distance medley relay) and an All-American for the DMR and mile. Ran the lead leg as Oregon defended its national title in the distance medley relay in 9:36.87. Also scored in the mile for the national runners-up. Made the final on time by running 4:03.21 in the prelims and then came on the last half of the race to finish fourth in the final in 4:02.27. Hit the NCAA automatic standard in the mile at the UW Last Chance Qualifier on March 6. Time of 3:58.08 was an indoor PR and ranks fourth all-time indoors at the University. Also ran a sub-4:00 mile, 3:59.48, at the Husky Classic. Helped Oregon set the top time in the country in the distance medley relay, 9:29.82, Jan. 29 at the Texas A&M Challenge. Ran the anchor leg on that team, which ranks third in school history. Also took second in the mile at Texas A&M (4:04.49). Took eighth in the 3,000 meters at the MPSF Championships in 8:06.69. Cross Country - Solid start to the season as Oregon’s No. 4 runner (23rd overall, 24:16.50) at the Bill Dellinger Invitational. Finished in the top 20 percent of the field at the Pre-National Invitational (41st, 24:37.8, 8,000 meters). Good race as Oregon’s No. 5 runner at the Pac-10 championships where he stood 15th overall (23:38.50, 8,000 meters). Also the team’s fifth scorer at the NCAA West Regional (33rd in 31:37.10, 10,000 meters). Capped season by returning to the NCAA Championships for the first time since his freshman year. Pac-10 Cross Country All-Academic honorable mention. Season Bests: Outdoors - 1,500 Meters - 3:36.48 (PR), KBC Nacht van de Atletiek, Heusden, Belgium (7/10/10); Mile - 3:53.76 (PR), Prefontaine Classic, Eugene, Ore. (7/3/10); 5,000 Meters - 13:46.87 (PR), Pac-10 Championships, Berkeley, Calif. (5/16/10); 3,000 Meter Steeplechase - 8:52.62 (PR), Pac-10 Championships, Berkeley, Calif. (5/15/10). Indoors - Mile - 3:58.08 (PR), UW Last Chance Qualifier, Seattle, Wash. (3/6/10); 3,000 Meters - 8:06.69, MPSF Championships, Seattle, Wash. (2/27/10).

2008-09: Member of Oregon’s NCAA Championship distance medley relay team, that ran 9:29.59 to help the Ducks win their first NCAA Indoor national title. Earned his fourth career All-America award. His relay team was just 0.20 off the school record. Also qualified for the NCAA Indoor meet in the mile. Took second in the mile at the MPSF Championships (4:01.89). Ran a season-best 4:00.11 at the Husky Last Chance Qualifier to gain entrance to the NCAA Championships, where he finished 13th (4:05.72). Redshirted the outdoor season. Competed in one cross country race, taking 28th at the Bill Dellinger Invitational (24:59.44) as Oregon’s No. 7 runner. Season Bests: Indoors - Mile - 4:00.11, Husky Last Chance Qualifier, Seattle, Wash. (3/7/09).

2007-08: All-American in the 1,500 meters and the indoor mile. Qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 1,500 meters where he finished eighth in his semifinal heat (3:44.96). Earned All-America status in the 1,500 with his ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships (3:43.95). Accounted for 12 points in helping the Ducks win their fourth Pac-10 Championship in the last six seasons by finishing second in the 1,500 meters (3:42.34) and fifth in the 5,000 meters (14:25.35). Posted a seasonal-best 1,500 meter time of 3:40.52 at the Cardinal Invitational. Helped Oregon defeat UCLA during an April dual meet by winning the 1,500 meters (3:46.87). Indoors, broke Steve Prefontaine’s 35 year-old indoor mile school record (3:59.2) by running 3:58.52 at the Husky Last Chance Qualifier. Earned indoor All-America honors by finishing third in the mile (4:04.90) at the NCAA Championships. Clocked PR of 7:57.45 in the 3,000 meters at the Husky Classic. Helped the distance medley relay team break the school record (9:34.06) at the USATF Indoor Championships in Boston. Was named the cross country Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. In his first fall season, was one of nation’s top freshmen and a consistent contributor for the national champion Ducks with top-six team finishes in his last five races of the year. Was the top freshman in the Pac-10 Championships (12th, 23:24), and was named to the All-West Region team. Season Bests: Outdoors - 1,500 Meters - 3:40.52, Cardinal Invitational, Stanford, Calif. (5/4/08); 5,000 Meters - 13:50.20, Oregon Relays, Eugene, Ore. (4/25/08). Indoors - Mile - 3:58.52, Husky Last Chance Qualifier, Seattle, Wash. (3/8/08); 3,000 Meters - 7:57.45 (PR), Husky Classic, Seattle, Wash. (2/16/08).

2006-07: All-American in the indoor mile. Outdoors on track, earned an NCAA at-large invitation in the 1,500 meters after he ranked second for team in the Pac-10 Championships (fifth, 3:48.30) and West Regional (ninth, 3:48.43). Sped to a 6.26-second season best in April’s Oregon Invitational (3:42.40) that was the second-fastest time nationally by a freshman and tops overall on the team. Closed outdoor season by defending his USA Junior Championships 1,500 meter title (3:49.53). In July, finished second in Pan American Junior Championships, only .01 seconds behind UO teammate Matthew Centrowitz. Indoors, made second-ever NCAA mile appearance by a Duck. Ranked eighth among collegians in mile at indoor regular season’s end with a seasonal best from the Husky Last Chance Qualifier (4:00.37). Also was an NCAA provisional qualifier at 3,000 meters (8:02.80). Redshirted in cross country. Season Bests: Outdoors - 1,500 Meters - 3:42.40, Oregon Invitational, Eugene, Ore. (4/20/07); 5,000 Meters - 14:10.47, Stanford Invitational, Stanford, Calif. (3/31/07). Indoors - Mile - 4:00.37, NCAA Last Chance Qualifier, Seattle, Wash. (3/3/07); 3,000 Meters - 8:02.80, Mountain Pacific Championships, Seattle, Wash. (2/24/07).

Prep: All-American. Won 2006 U.S. Junior Championships 1,500 meters (3:45.95) to earn a spot on U.S. Junior World Championships team, where he finished 18th at the IAAF World Junior Championships. Ran 1,500 prep best as senior in the Oregon Twilight in Eugene (3:45.73). In senior fall campaign, won the 2005 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships after he placed ninth as a junior. Won California state cross country title as senior, and was second as a junior. On the track in 2006, won state 1,600 meters (4:04.95) and was second in the 3,200 meters (8:59.15). Was also a state qualifier in the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters as a junior and senior, and also in the 1,600 meters as a sophomore. Tabbed Track and Field News Runner of the Month in December 2005 after his Foot Locker win.

Personal: Double major in economics and business administration.

Personal Bests
1,500 Meters - 3:36.48,
KBC Nacht van de Atletiek,
Heusden, Belgium, 7/10/10
5,000 Meters - 13:46.87,
Pac-10 Championships,
Berkeley, Calif., 5/16/10
3,000 Meter Steeplechase - 8:52.68,
Pac-10 Championships,
Berkeley, Calif., 5/15/10
Mile - 3:53.76,
Prefontaine Classic,
Eugene, Ore., 7/3/10
3,000 Meters - 7:57.45 (i),
Husky Classic,
Seattle, Wash., 2/16/08

NCAA Outdoor Track Championships
2011 - 1,500 Meters, s-7th, 3:49.81
2010 - 1,500 Meters, 2nd, 3:48.01
2008 - 1,500 Meters, 9th, 3:43.95
2007 - 1,500 Meters, 20th, 3:46.83

NCAA Indoor Track Championships
2010 - Mile, 4th, 4:02.27
2010 - Distance
Medley Relay, 1st, 9:36.87
2009 - Mile, 13th, 4:05.72
2009 - Distance Medley Relay, 1st, 9:29.59
2008 - Mile, 3rd, 4:04.90
2007 - Mile, 13th, 4:08.78

NCAA Cross Country Championships
2010 - 161st, 31:42.0
2009 - 106th, 31:01.0
2007 - 146th, 31:27

NCAA Cross Country West Regional
2010 - 16th, 30:31.65
2009 - 33rd, 31:37.10
2007 - 24th, 30:49

Pac-10 Track Championships
2011 - 1,500 Meters, 7th, 3:49.42
2011 - 3,000 Meter Steeplechase, 14th, 9:48.85
2011 - 5,000 Meters
2010 - 1,500 Meters, 2nd, 3:41.83
2010 - 5,000 Meters, 3rd, 13:46.87
2010 - 3,000 Meter Steeplechase, 4th, 8:52.62
2008 - 1,500 Meters, 2nd, 3:42.34
2008 - 5,000 Meters, 5th, 14:25.35
2007 - 1,500 Meters, 5th, 3:48.30

Pac-10 Cross Country Championships
2010 - 8th, 23:43.16
2009 - 15th, 23:38.50
2007 - 12th, 23:24

A.J. Photos: