Track and Field wins Pac-12 Championship - 6th Straight
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Walter Thurmond III
Position: Sprints
Height: 6'3"
Year: Redshirt Junior
City/State: West Covina, Calif.
High School: West Covina HS
Experience: 2 Letters
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Thurmond III Videos

After sitting out the 2008 track & field season, returns to the oval to lend his skills to the sprints and relays. Two-time Pac-10 qualifier is the latest of several talented, multiple-sport athletes for the Oregon track and field and football programs.

Fall 2008: In football, battled injuries for most of the year, but still managed to start 12 of 13 games and finished tied for first in the Pac-10 with five interceptions. Oregon’s seventh-leading tackler and third-team all-conference honoree (Phil Steele Publications) shared the team lead in interceptions, including one pick in the Holiday Bowl victory vs. Oklahoma State. Also had five solo tackles against the Cowboys and returned six kickoffs for a total of 201 yards, including a 91-yarder to open the second half, setting up UO’s second touchdown of the game. Earned the special teams game ball for his work in the season finale. Had a 40-yard interception for a touchdown in the closing seconds of the first half at Oregon State. Recorded a season-high 10 tackles at California to go along with his lone tackle for loss on the year. Had a pair of interceptions at Washington State and one pick at Arizona State, where he was awarded the team’s defensive game ball. Shared the team lead with nine stops at Purdue. Doubled as a kick returner, running back a team-high 21 kickoffs for a 25.1-yard average. Was team’s second fastest player (4.61 electric 40-yd. time) during offseason conditioning tests.

2007-08: Redshirted the track and field seasons. In football during the 2007 season, was Oregon’s second-leading tackler and 13-game starter finished as the co-leader in the Pacific-10 Conference in passes defended (23) as well as second on the team in interceptions (5). The league’s honorable mention all-conference choice (coaches) claimed first-team all-Pac-10 attention by Rivals.com after posting a team-high 75 of his 103 tackles unassisted. Posted a season-high 13 tackles vs. California and 12 against USC as he shared the team-lead in stops on three occasions. Included were nine unassisted tackles along with five passes broken up at Michigan, and three tackles for loss vs. the Trojans. Returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown against Fresno State in addition to intercepting a pass late in the opening quarter which led to the Ducks’ fourth TD of the afternoon. Also forced one fumble, blocked on field goal try in addition to picking off a pass against Oregon State. Filled up the stat sheet vs. South Florida in the Sun Bowl with six tackles, 1.0 TFL, two pass breakups and a 25-yard interception. Earned team’s defensive player of the week accolades in consecutive weeks for performances against the Wolverines and Fresno State.

2006-07: A Pac-10 qualifier in the 110 meter hurdles. Led Duck 60 meter hurdlers indoors (8.04) and ranked second at 110 meters outdoors (14.61). Capped indoor slate with third place (8.10) against many of the West Coast’s top 60 meter hurdlers in the Mountain Pacific Championships and a ran personal best in the prelims (8.04). Entered campaign with a 60 hurdle best of 8.15 and bettered that mark in five of his six races. Outdoors, capped year with second Pac-10 appearance in the 110 meter hurdles (16th-prelims, 14.71). Altogether, competed in two 110 hurdle events outdoors and seven events indoors. Season Bests: Outdoors 110 Meter Hurdles 14.61, Oregon Twilight, Eugene, Ore. (5/5/07). Indoors 60 Meters 7.22 (PR), UW Indoor Invitational, Seattle, Wash. (1/27/07); 60 Meter Hurdles 8.04 (PR), Mountain Pacific Championships, Seattle, Wash. (2/23/07). During the 2006 football season, the 12-game starter emerged as one of the top young defensive backs in the Pac-10, earning honorable mention all-conference acclaim as well as third-team Freshman All-America plaudits. The team’s fourth-leading tackler led the Ducks in passes broken up in addition to intercepting his first pass at USC. Paced the defense in tackles in each of his last two outings of the regular season, including a collegiate-best 14 tackles vs. Arizona. Also added eight tackles against Oklahoma, and produced tackles for losses vs. Fresno State, Oklahoma, Arizona and Oregon State. Singled out as the defense’s player of the week for his play against Arizona and Arizona State. Tallied 85 snaps at Fresno State and 78 against Oklahoma in consecutive appearances for a secondary that helped vault the Ducks to 20th in the country in pass defense.

2005-06: Pac-10 qualifier in the 110 meter hurdles validated his prep promise with strong marks off limited practice in his debut track and field season. Outdoors, concentrated on spring football for first half of season, and saw limited track time afterwards as he returned from an ankle injury. Still answered call for team in Pac-10 Championships (15th-prelims, 14.97w, w:2.4). His two other outdoor appearances came in the first two meets of the outdoor season. Placed second in the Oregon Preview in his collegiate debut (14.72, w:1.9), and a week later ran a season best in the Trojan Invitational (seventh, 14.29, w:0.9). His season and personal best of 14.29 ranked him 11th in Pac-10 (and third among league frosh), 15th in the West Region and 99th in the NCAA. Indoors, competed in two meets and ran faster in each of his three races with all 8.23 or better. Placed fifth in Mountain Pacific Championships final in personal best (8.15) after he also ranked fifth in the prelims (8.18). Altogether, competed in six races in the 110m hurdles outdoors (3) and 60m hurdles indoors (3).  In fall, practiced at cornerback, and redshirted fall football season as a scout team player. Season Bests: Outdoors 110 Meter Hurdles 14.29 (PR), Trojan Invitational, Los Angeles, Calif. (3/25/06). Indoors 60 Meter Hurdles 8.15, Mountain Pacific Championships, Seattle, Wash. (2/25/06). During the 2005 football season, was singled out for outstanding scout team play on six occasions during redshirt year, including weekly accolades on both defense and special teams leading up to games against Montana and Stanford.

Prep: Made final of 2005 USA Junior Championships (110 hurdles, eighth, 14.72, 14.65-p). As junior, ran 14.29 season best, and in state meet (10th, 14.49) missed final by only .10 seconds. Owned senior season and personal bests of 14.16 in 110 hurdles and 15-7 in pole vault. As a football player for West Covina High School, was considered one of the state’s fastest players and helped lead the Bulldogs to CIF Southern Section Division VII championship and a 11-2-1 record with the deciding 19-8 victory over South Hills. Recorded 29 receptions for 730 yards and seven touchdowns his senior season in addition to rushing for over 400 yards and two more scores. Added 85 tackles and five interceptions to earn all-San Gabriel Valley Region honors and region back-of-the-year acclaim by the L.A. Times. Also received all-CIF Southern Section second team plaudits as a wide receiver in 2004 after attracting first-team all-San Antonio League, all-CIF and all-Valley attention following his 2003 campaign.

Personal: Political science major. Was a prep teammate of Duck distance twin brothers Daniel and Diego Mercado.

Personal Bests
110 Meter Hurdles - 14.29,
Trojan Invitational,
Los Angeles, Calif., 3/25/06
60 Meter Hurdles -8.04,
MPSF Championships,
Seattle, Wash., 2/23/07

Pac-10 Championships Performances
2007 - 110 Meter Hurdles, 16th, 14.71
2006 - 110 Meter Hurdles, 15th, 14.97 (w +2.4)

Alamo Bowl Champs
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