EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon men's and women's cross country teams will get their first look at the NCAA Championships course when they travel to Louisville, Ky., for the Pre-Nationals meet Saturday at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park.
The men's 8,000 meter race begins at 6:30 a.m. PT (9:30 ET), followed by the women's 6,000 meter run at 7:15 a.m. PT (10:15 ET).
The women's race will be one to watch with three of the nation's top six teams in the running - No. 1 Florida State, No. 4 Oregon and No. 6 Georgetown, the defending NCAA champions. The women's race also has No. 17 William and Mary, No. 18 Colorado, No. 24 Villanova and No. 25 Butler.
The 15th-ranked Men of Oregon are one of eight ranked teams running. Others are No. 3 Brigham Young, No. 7 Colorado, No. 9 Tulsa, No. 12 Villanova, No. 14 Florida State, No. 20 Georgetown and No. 23 William and Mary.
For the first time, Louisville will host the 2012 NCAA Championships Nov. 17.
Oregon's entries for this weekend's race include seniors Jordan Hasay, Alexi Pappas and Sarah Penney, sophomore Megan Partignelli and freshmen Annie Leblanc Abbey Leonardi and Allie Woodward.
The men have senior Trevor Dunbar, juniors Tim Costin, Ben DeJarnette and Parker Stinson, sophomores Ryan Pickering, Cole Watson and Daniel Winn and freshmen Chris Brewer and Matthew Melancon travelling to Louisville.
PRE-NATIONALS MEN'S RACE
Time: 6:30 a.m. PT (men's open race at 7:45 a.m. PT)
Length: 8,000 Meters
Twitter: @OregonTF / @uofltrackxc
Results: www.UofLsports.com / www.goducks.com
Teams (40): Air Force, Boise State, Brigham Young, Bucknell, Butler, UC Santa Barbara, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Colorado, Davidson, Duke, Duquesne, Eastern Michigan, Florida, Florida State, Georgetown, Indiana State, Iowa, Kennesaw State, Lamar, Lehigh, Louisville, Loyola (Ill.), Kentucky, McNeese State, Miami (Ohio), Montana State, North Carolina-Greensboro, Oregon, Rice, Southern Utah, Texas-El Paso, Tulsa, Utah State, Utah Valley, Villanova, Virginia Tech, Weber State, Wichita State, and William and Mary.
Rankings: Eight of the nation's top 25 teams will be competing in Lousiville. That list includes No. 3 BYU, No. 7 Colorado, No. 9 Tulsa, No. 12 Villanova, No. 14 Florida State, No. 15 Oregon, No. 20 Georgetown and No. 23 William & Mary. Oregon is one of just three teams from the West region competing at the Pre-Nationals this weekend. The other two are Boise State and UC Santa Barbara.
Oregon Entries: The Ducks will select their squad of seven from nine runner who will be making the trip to Louisville. Oregon will send senior Trevor Dunbar, juniors Tim Costin, Ben DeJarnette and Parker Stinson, sophomores Ryan Pickering, Cole Watson and Daniel Winn and freshmen Chris Brewer and Matthew Melancon to the meet.
PRE-NATIONALS WOMEN'S RACE
Time: 7:15 a.m. PT
Length: 6,000 Meters
Twitter: @OregonTF / @uofltrackxc
Results: www.UofLsports.com / www.goducks.com
Teams (39): Air Force, Appalachian State, Baylor, Boise State, Butler, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, Clemson, Colorado, Duquesne, East Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Elon, Florida, Florida State, Georgetown, Illinois, New Hampshire, Loyola (Ill.), Kansas State, Kentucky, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Montana State, Ohio, Oregon, Oregon State, Southern Utah, Texas, Texas-El Paso, Tulsa, Utah, Villanova, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wichita State, William and Mary, and Xavier
Rankings: With three of the top six teams in the nation racing in Louisville, the Pre-Nationals could be a preview of the NCAA Championships. No. 1 Florida State, No. 4 Oregon and No. 6 Georgetown - the defending NCAA champions. Those three will be joined by No. 17 William and Mary, No. 18 Colorado, No. 24 Villanova and No. 25 Butler.
Oregon Entries: The Ducks will run seniors Jordan Hasay, Alexi Pappas and Sarah Penney, sophomore Megan Patrignelli and freshmen Annie Leblanc, Abbey Leonardi and Allie Woodward.
The place of the first five finishers counts toward the team score. First place is worth one point, second place two points, etc. Low score wins.
DELLINGER INVITATIONAL RECAP
Senior transfer Alexi Pappas led the Oregon women to the Dellinger team title, while senior transfer Trevor Dunbar captured the men's individual title on a warm and sunny Sept. 29 at Springfield Country Club. Pappas pushed through the finish line to finish just ahead of former Washington runner Christine Babcock. Pappas' time of 16:23 was the second-fastest in Dellinger meet history and less than a second off the meet record of 16:22.92 set by NCAA Champion Sheila Reid of Villanova in 2009. Dunbar, a senior transfer from the University of Portland, brought home the men's title in 23:38.
Pappas, a transfer from Dartmouth led a 1-3-5-6-7 finish for the Ducks as No. 3 Oregon easily won their third straight Dellinger team title with 18 points. Southern Utah was second with 73, Gonzaga finished third with 87, UC Riverside was fourth with 98 points and Idaho scored 125 points to round out the top five. Nevada was sixth with 135 points and Seattle U. was seventh with 203. In addition to Pappas, the women had freshman Annie Leblanc third in 16:59, senior Sarah Penney fifth in 17:02, senior Katie Conlon sixth in 17:03 and senior Jordan Hasay seventh in 17:04. Oregon also saw sophomore Megan Patrignelli 10th in 17:10, freshman Abbey Leonardi 12th in 17:13, senior Becca Friday 17th in 17:28, senior Taylor Wallace 19th in 17:33 and senior Anne Kesselring 23rd in 17:38.
Meanwhile Dunbar led an entertaining men's race that saw the 23rd-ranked Ducks challenge No. 3 Brigham Young throughout. With a lap remaining, both teams had four runners in the top 10, and it wasn't until the final 1,000 meters that the Cougars edged ahead to claim their first Dellinger crown.
BYU scored 32 points to win, followed by Oregon with 49, Southern Utah with 111, Washington with 114 and Gonzaga with 130. Seattle U. was sixth with 181 points, followed by Sacramento State (185), Massachusetts (223), UC Riverside (233) and Idaho (240).
Dunbar, from Kodiak, Alaska, won for the Ducks with junior Ben Dejarnette third in 23:49. BYU was impressive with Jared Ward second in 23:40 to lead eight Cougars who finished in the top 15. Oregon also counted an 11th-place finish from junior Parker Stinson in 24:00, a 16th-place finish from sophomore Cole Watson in 24:07 and a 22nd-place finish from sophomore Daniel Winn in 24:25. The Ducks had freshman Matthew Melancon finish 26th in 24:29 in his first race as a Duck, sophomore Ryan Pickering 29th in 24.33 and freshman Chris Brewer 40th in 24:49.
Ducks Don Pink for Dellinger Invitational
The University of Oregon men's and women's cross country teams wore pink at the Sept. 29 Bill Dellinger Invitational. The Ducks donned the special singlets in recognition of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Men and Women of Oregon wore a white singlet with "OREGON" in classic lettering arced across the chest. The throwback style top is based on what the Duck men wore in 1969 when a freshman named Steve Prefontaine led Oregon to its first cross country NCAA title.
The singlets are being auctioned at www.goducks.com.
For more information on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit www.nbcam.org.
PIER PARK INVITATIONAL RECAP
Cole Watson and Anne Kesselring led the Oregon cross country teams to a sweep of the season-opening Pier Park Invitational Sept. 1 in the Rose City. The top-ranked Duck women easily won the four-way dual meet, defeating Oregon State 15-50, Portland 15-48 and Portland State 15-49. The 22nd-ranked men also dominated their three-way dual, beating No. 7 Portland 17-46 and Portland State 15-50.
The first four Duck women to cross the finish line were seniors, led by Kesselring, who covered the 5,000 meter course in 17:11.00. A pair of Ducks making their Oregon debut were next. Dartmouth transfer Alexi Pappas took second in 17:12.9, while Katie Conlon, a transfer from Jamestown (N.D.) College, was right behind in 17:13.2. Sarah Penney, another senior, followed in fourth for the Ducks in 17:13.5. Sophomore Megan Patrignelli wrapped up the Oregon sweep with a fifth-place finish in 17:13.7. The women also had senior Taylor Wallace, from Klamath Falls, Ore., seventh in 17:28.0 and senior Becca Friday 10th in 17:50.4.
Watson led a 1-2-3 sweep for the Duck men. The sophomore from Rogue River, Ore., covered the 6,000 meter course in 17:52.69. Junior Ben DeJarnette was a step back in second in 17:53.00, with Daniel Winn, a graduate of Portland's Cleveland High School, third in 18:02.22. Portland's Aiden Irish broke up the Duck runners with his fourth-place finish in 18:03.91. Chris Brewer, a freshman from Vista, Calif., in his Oregon debut, finished fifth in 18:06.00. The Ducks also saw junior Tim Costin in sixth. The Springfield, Ore., native ran 18:08.06 as the team's final scorer. The Ducks also had sophomore Colby Alexander in seventh in 18:11.66 and Eugene's Matthew Melancon eighth in 18:12.81. Freshman Joe Holvey, also from Eugene, was 24th in 19:21.31.
In the last half century, no other conference can match the league's combined 19 NCAA men's and women's team championships in cross country.
Combined NCAA Team Titles by Conference, 1958-present
19 Pacific-12 Conference
15 Big East Conference
13 Southeastern Conference
10 Big XII
9 Big Ten
9 Conference USA
The Ducks will compete at the Beaver Classic on Oct. 19 before the championship season begins with the Pac-12 meet Oct. 27 at Santa Clarita, Calif. (UCLA). That will be followed by the NCAA West Regional Nov. 9 in Seattle.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE TEAMS
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW
On the heels of their third NCAA top-five finish in the last five years, the Women of Oregon figure to be one of the more seasoned and talented squads nationally in 2012.
Senior Jordan Hasay leads a host of upperclassmen rich with postseason experience, while newcomers Alexi Pappas and Allie Woodward could push the Ducks' depth and talent level up several notches this fall.
Hasay is one of seven seniors on the roster, and will undoubtedly be one to watch in 2012. The Arroyo Grande, Calif., native was the 2011 NCAA runner-up, won the NCAA West Regional title and was third at the Pac-12 meet.
She is now the most decorated runner in school history with 14 All-America awards combined between cross country and track and field.
Fortunately, she won't be alone when it comes to leadership. Fellow seniors Becca Friday, Anne Kesselring, Sarah Penney and Taylor Wallace all have run championship-level races.
Kesselring (Nurnberg, Germany) has three NCAA Championships appearances to her credit, while Friday (Bellingham, Wash.) has one, despite the fact that those two are more disposed to the middle distances during the track season.
Penny (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) made her Pac-12 and NCAA West Regional debut in 2012, while Wallace (Klamath Falls, Ore.) has three straight conference cross country appearances.
Junior Lanie Thompson emerged as a consistent fourth runner for the Ducks in 2011. The High Bridge, N.J., native has appeared in every championship level race for the Ducks each of the past two years to join Hasay and Kesselring on a very short list.
The sophomore class is loaded with potential. Molly Grabill (Poway, Calif.) was the only freshman to run in the NCAA Championships for the Ducks in 2011. Megan Patrignelli (Monroe, N.Y.) made her debut at the Pac-12 meet, while middle distance specialist Laura Roesler (Fargo, N.D.) also added depth.
The Ducks will need to replace their No. 2 and No. 3 runners following the graduation of Claire Michel and Bronwyn Crossman.
To that end, Oregon has a pair of transfers and a number of freshmen.
On of the most intriguing newcomers to cross country may already be on the team. Allie Woodward redshirted the 2011 season her first fall in Eugene, but the Green Bay, Wis., native impressed in the spring, taking third in the 10,000 at the Pac-12 championships, before finishing fifth at that distance at the NCAA Championships. She went on to win the U.S. junior title at 5,000 meters and placed eighth at the IAAF World Junior Championships.
She'll be joined by a pair of senior transfers - Alexi Pappas from Dartmouth and Katie Conlon from Jamestown (N.D.) College. Pappas is a talented veteran distance runner who finished third in the steeplechase at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
The Ducks also have a group of freshmen newcomers in Skylar Evans (Midlothian, Va.), Megan Fristoe (Bend, Ore.), Annie Leblanc (Repentigny, Quebec), Abbey Leonardi (Kenebunkport, Maine) and Ashley Maton (Bend, Ore.).
MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW
With only three seniors on the roster, Oregon will be a young, but talented team in 2012.
The Ducks graduated four-time All-American Luke Puskedra and fellow senior Chris Kwiatkowski from last season's squad, but return seven runners from the 2011 Pac-12 Championships, and four who appeared at the NCAA West Regional.
The team will be led by Parker Stinson, a junior from Austin, Texas, who was seventh at the Pac-12 meet a year ago and 17th at the Regional. He'll be joined by Jeramy Elkaim, a sophomore from Livingston, N.J., who impressed as a freshman with a 20th-place finish at the league championships and a 38th-place showing at the Regional.
Ryan Pickering also continued the youth movement; the sophomore from West Palm Beach, Fla., was 39th at the 2011 Pac-12 Championships and also qualified for the IAAF World Junior Championships in the 10,000 meters.
The experience on the Oregon squad is impressive.
Junior Ben DeJarnette, from Mechanicsville, Va., has appeared in every championship race for the Ducks over the last two seasons, while Oregon's underclassmen look to become the leaders of the future.
The 2011 season proved to be a great testing ground for sophomores Boru Guyota (Portland, Ore.), Matt Jablonski (Cockeysville, Md.) and Cole Watson (Rogue River, Ore.) who all ran at the Pac-12 Championships.
The Ducks also featured juniors Tim Costin (Springfield, Ore.), Mitch Hunt (Fremont, Neb.) and Hank Morrison (Carmel, Calif.) and sophomores Colby Alexander (Strongsville, Ohio) and Daniel Winn (Portland, Ore.) during the 2011 season.
Oregon had a number of freshmen redshirt the 2012 season, including Chris Brewer (Vista, Calif.), Russell Hornsby (Williamsburg, Va.), Matthew Melancon (Eugene, Ore.) and Chad Noelle (Greene, N.Y.).
The six newcomers for 2012 will make for some intriguing additions to the roster, especially Trevor Dunbar, who should have an immediate impact. The senior from Kodiak, Alaska, was a two-time cross country All-American for the University of Portland before transferring to Oregon in January.
Dunbar was 35th at the NCAA Championships in 2011 as a junior to help the Pilots take eighth in the team competition (30:05, 10,000 meters). He finished 25th as a sophomore at the NCAA meet in 2010 (30:21).
The Ducks have also brought in Freddy Ovett (Melbourne, Australia) and Richard Goodman (London, England) from overseas, as well as transfers Patrick Todd (Virginia) and Matt Miner (Dartmouth) and freshman Joe Holvey from Eugene.
In recent seasons, the men have experienced success on a national level rarely seen in TrackTown USA. Oregon won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2007 and 2008, and followed that with a runner-up finish in 2009. Those results harken back to the era of the legendary Steve Prefontaine, when the Ducks won national titles in 1971, 1973 and 1974, were second in 1970 and third in 1972.
TRACK TOWN, USA, HERITAGE
The last four years have certainly lived up to the heritage established by the legends of TrackTown USA. In 24 NCAA championships and 16 Pac-10 championships, the Men and Women of Oregon have won 14 championships and another 13 silver medals.
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