EUGENE, Ore. – The 2013 U.S. Junior champion in the men’s 400 meters is one of six student-athletes who have joined an already impressive recruiting haul for the University of Oregon track and field teams, Head Coach Robert Johnson announced Wednesday.
Marcus Chambers of Tacoma, Wash., won the national 400 meter title two weeks ago at the U.S. Outdoor Junior Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Chambers ran 46.55 in the final to claim the 2013 crown.
Eariler in 2013, Chambers won his second consecutive Washington state 400 and 200 meter titles for Foss High School. He took the 400 in 46.36, which was the second fastest time nationally among prep runners in 2013. He also won the 200 in 21.30.
Additionally, he won the 400 at the Arcadia Invitational.
Chambers was named the 2012-13 Gatorade Washington Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.
He impressed at the 2012 USATF Junior Olympics by winning the 400 meters in 46.18 and finishing second in the 200 in 21.06, both personal bests. His 400 time ranked fourth among high schoolers in 2012, while his 200 time was 22nd.
He swept the Washington State 3A 200 (21.41) and 400 (47.36) meter titles for Foss High School as a junior in 2012. Prior to his big Junior Olympic meet, he went to the 2012 USA Junior Championships, where he ran 21.08 in the 200 meter semifinals before taking sixth in the finals (21.17). In the 400, Chambers advanced in 46.92 before taking fifth in the finals in 46.98.
As a sophomore in 2011, Chambers was second in the state in the 400 meters and fourth in the 200.
Also joining the Ducks for the 2013-14 season will be incoming freshmen Ted Foster of Lincroft, N.J., Kelly O’Neill of Lake Oswego, Ore., and Alec Smith of Portland, Ore., and transfers Maria Elbon of Nashville, Tenn., and Mel Newberry of London, England.
Foster is a former New Jersey state 400 meter champion who had the fourth-fastest indoor 400 meters in the nation this winter, 47.85. He timed that at the Spire High School Showcase Meet running for Spire Academy, which is the athletic partner of Andrews Osborne Academy in Geneva, Ohio. Prior to transferring to Andrews for his senior year, Foster was the 2012 New Jersey state Group A/Non-Public Schools 400 meter champion for Christian Brothers Academy and also anchored CBA’s winning 4x400 meter relay squad. He was also fourth in the 400 at the 2012 New Jersey Meet of Champions and third at the Eastern States Championships as a junior.
Elbon, a transfer from Belmont University, was the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference cross country individual champion for the Bruins. She went on to place 23rd at the NCAA South Region Championships in a personal best 20:43.4. Elbon had four top 10 finishes in six races as a sophomore.
On the track, Elbon was seventh in the 10,000 meters as a freshman in the 2012 Atlantic Sun Championships in a personal best 37:57.81. Belmont moved from the Atlantic Sun to the Ohio Valley following the 2012 season.
Prior to Belmont, Elbon was the 2010 All Mid-State champion for Sovereign Grace Academy, where she was the team captain and also a three year letterwinner in swimming
She will be a junior in cross country and a redshirt sophomore in both indoor and outdoor track and field.
Newberry was a two-time NCAA East Preliminary Rounds qualifier for Princeton in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. She is a two-time Ivy League scorer in the event with a personal best time of 10:18.66. She also ran in the NCA cross country regional meet for the Tigers.
Newberry prepped at London’s Wycome Abby before coming to Princeton.
She will be a senior with one season of outdoor eligibility remaining in 2014.
Smith won consecutive Oregon state 6A 800 meter titles for Westview High School as a junior and senior. He didn’t lose a race at 800 meters as a senior in 2013. After the high school season, he set a personal best in the 800 of 1:50.43 in winning the USA Miler’s Club meet in Portland.
Smith followed that by making the final of the 800 at the U.S. Track and Field Junior Championships last month in Des Moines, Iowa. He won his semifinal heat in 1:51.54, before finishing eighth in the final as the only high schooler running against a field of collegians.
O’Neill is a middle distance runner who scored at the Oregon state meet in both the 800 and 1,500 meters for Lakeridge High School. She was fifth in the 800 and eighth in the 1,500. She ran a personal best 4:37.09 1,500 meters at the 2013 Three Rivers League championships.
O’Neill also placed fifth at the 2011 state cross country meet as a junior and 10th as a sophomore in 2010.
The six will join an impressive group of 14 men and 11 women who signed with the Duck track and field programs in February.
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