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Duck Season: Track Teams Head to NCAA Championships
Release Date: 06/09/2009
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The collegiate season culminates in the 2009 NCAA Championships, which will be held Wednesday, June 10 though Saturday, June 13 at Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark. Oregon has a contingent of 28 individuals headed to the championships, 16 men and 12 women.


Oregon has an impressive list of competitors seeded among the top 10 for the national championships. For the men, that number includes Ashton Eaton in the decathlon (No. 1), Cyrus Hostetler in the javelin (No. 1), Matthew Centrowitz in the 1,500 meters (No. 1), Andrew Wheating in the 800 meters (No. 3), Shadrack Biwott in the 5,000 meters (No. 5), Chris Winter in the steeplechase (No. 6), Galen Rupp in the 10,000 meters (No. 6), Luke Puskedra in the 10,000 meters (No. 10) and Alex Wolff in the javelin (No. 10). On the women’s side, it’s Brianne Theisen in the heptathlon (No. 1), Rachel Yurkovich in the javelin (No. 2), Nicole Blood in the 5,000 meters (No. 2), Keshia Baker in the 400 meters (No. 3), Melissa Gergel in the pole vault (No. 4), Kalindra McFadden in the heptathlon (No. 5) and Mattie Bridgmon in the 10,000 meters (No. 5). See page 2 for a complete listing of Oregon’s entries. Also, a complete list of entries for the entire 2009 NCAA Championships is available at


Competition at the NCAA Championships begins at 8:30 a.m. (PDT) on Wednesday and Thursday, at 9 a.m. on Friday and at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Live results from the NCAA Championships will be available on the NCAA’s web site, Final results will also be posted on For more information, go to


The top eight places in each event score. The points are assigned as follows: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.


CBS will televise the final two hours of the meet live from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. CBS College Sports (Comcast Cable channel 412) will have a live broadcast window on Friday from 4-7 p.m. In addition, other than when CBS/CBS College Sports is on the air, there will be a live web cast of the championships available at and


Oregon has five individuals on the 2009 Championships roster who already own at least one NCAA title. Galen Rupp leads that list with four (2008 cross country, 2009 indoor 3,000 meters, 5,000 meters and distance medley relay). Ashton Eaton has two (2008 decathlon, 2009 indoor heptathlon), while Rachel Yurkovich (2008 javelin), Chad Barlow (2009 indoor DMR) and Andrew Wheating (2009 indoor DMR) each have one.


The Ducks have 16 competitors who are seeded among the top 10 in their respective events for the 2009 NCAA Championships. Among those are No. 1 seeds Ashton Eaton (decathlon), Matthew Centrowitz (1,500), Cyrus Hostetler (javelin) and Brianne Theisen (heptathlon).


Oregon has won five NCAA team championships: 1962 (Eugene), 1964 (Eugene), 1965 (Berkeley, Calif.), 1970 (Des Moines, Iowa) and 1984 (Eugene). Last year in Des Moines, the men tied for 11th with 22 points, their fifth-straight top-15 finish. The Ducks’ last top-five finish came in 1992 (fifth), and last trophy winner came in 1991 (third).


Oregon has one women’s NCAA title to its credit: 1985 (Austin, Texas). Last year at Des Moines, Iowa, the women placed eighth with 27 points, which was their best showing in 16 years. The Ducks’ last trophy came in 1992 (fourth) and last top three finish was in 1988 (third).


Of the nearly 300 NCAA Division I men’s track and field programs, only two have ever won the "Triple Crown," which consists of taking the cross country, indoor and outdoor national titles in the same academic year. The two schools to have accomplished that rarity are Arkansas and Texas-El Paso. The Razorbacks, host of the 2009 NCAA Championships, last accomplished that feat in 1998-99. Arkansas also shows triple crowns on four other occasions: 1984-85, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94. UTEP won the first "Triple Crown" in 1979-80 and subsequently accomplished that feat in 1980-81 and 1981-82.


In addition to "Triple Crown" winners Arkansas and UTEP, only three other programs have ever won both the indoor and outdoor NCAA track title in the same year. USC, which was the first team to do it in 1967, Kansas and Southern Methodist. In 1970, Kansas won the indoor title and shared the outdoor crown with Oregon and Brigham Young. UTEP’s sweeps came in 1975-78-80-81-82, though in 1978, the Miners’ shared the outdoor title with UCLA. SMU did it once in 1983. Arkansas accomplished the feat most recently, 2005, and also swept in 1985-92-93-94-95-97-98-99-03.


Only twice in NCAA history has a school won both the NCAA men’s and women’s outdoor championships in the same year. Louisiana State accomplished that feat in back-to-back seasons in 1989 and 1990.


The NCAA Championships will mark the final collegiate competitions for a number of Oregon seniors, including four-time NCAA champion Galen Rupp and 2008 NCAA javelin champ Rachel Yurkovich. Rupp is entered in the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters, while Yurkovich, naturally, will be in the javelin. Other seniors making their final collegiate appearances include 2009 Pac-10 champion Chris Winter (men’s steeplechase), All-American Shadrack Biwott (men’s 5,000 meters), All-American Scott Wall (men’s 5,000 meters), 2009 Pac-10 runner-up Lucy Cridland (women’s discus) and All-American Kalindra McFadden (heptathlon).


Two Ducks will attempt to double at the NCAA Championships. Galen Rupp is in both the men’s 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. Jamesha Youngblood will double in both the women’s long jump and the triple jump. She was the 2009 Pac-10 champion in both events.


For the first time in its storied history, the Men of Oregon have won three straight Pac-10 titles. The 2009 crown means that the Ducks have won five of the last seven and 10 all-time. The Ducks have conference men’s track and field titles in 1965, 1967, 1979, 1986, 1990, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. On the women’s side, Oregon won its first title since 1992 and third overall. The Ducks’ Pac-10 crowns have come in 1991, 1992 and 2009.


NCAA Championships entrants Galen Rupp, Nicole Blood and Kalindra McFadden of Oregon were named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 8 track & field/cross country teams, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Rupp, a senior from Portland, Ore., who carries a 3.87 grade point average in business administration, and Blood were first team selections, while McFadden was a second team pick. It was the third career district first team selection for Rupp, who is entered in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters for the NCAA Championships. It was also just the latest in a long string of academic honors for the four-time NCAA champion. Rupp was named the Pac-10 scholar-athlete of the year for men’s track and field and was also a Pac-10 all-academic first team selection for the third time in his career. Rupp was the 2009 NCAA West Regional 5,000 meter champion and the Pac-10’s 10,000 meter winner. He also finished second in the 1,500 meters at the Pac-10 meet. Blood, a junior from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., who holds a 3.48 GPA in journalism, was the 2009 NCAA West Regional women’s 5,000 meter champion. She also placed second in that event at the Pac-10 championships and fourth in the 1,500 meters. It was the second career all-district selection for Blood. Blood is entered in the 5,000 meters for the NCAA Championships. Both Rupp and Blood advance on to the national academic All-America ballot. McFadden became an all-district selection for the first time in her career. The senior from Bozeman, Mont., holds a 3.64 GPA in psychology and was the 2009 Pac-10 heptathlon runner-up, scoring a personal-best 5,780 points. McFadden will compete in the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships.


Pac-10 Champions Galen Rupp, Keshia Baker, Brianne Theisen, Chris Winter, Zoe Buckman and Melissa Gergel led a large contingent of 34 Oregon men and women who were named to the Pac-10 all-academic teams. That list also included 2009 Pac-10 runner-ups Lucy Cridland, Nicole Blood and Kalindra McFadden. Rupp, who carries a 3.87 grade point average in business administration, was joined on the first team by David Klech, Claire Michel, Scott Penny, Scott Wall, Bria Wetsch and Leah Worthen. The Ducks’ second team honorees included Cridland, McFadden, Winter, Alex Wolff, Brooke Guiffre, Eric Hersey, Steven Johnson and Zoe Nelson. A bevy of Oregon student-athletes made all-academic honorable mention selection, including Britton Nelson, A.J. O’Connell, Jordan Stray and Colin Witter-Tilton for the men and Baker, Blood, Buckman, Gergel, Theisen, Betsy Bies, Dana Buchanan, Erin Funkhouser, Jasmine Kelly, Alexandra Kosinski, Megan Maloney, Ashley McCrea, Jordan Roskelley, Rita Santibanez and Amy Skofstad for the women. Twelve of these student-athletes will be in competition at the NCAA Championships.


During the 2009 regular season, Oregon accumulated an astonishing 85 combined NCAA regional and national qualifying marks, 43 for the men and 42 for the women. By comparison, last season, the Ducks had 73 NCAA marks. The women had at least one NCAA mark in every event.


With 12 winners in 13 events at the 2009 Pac-10 championships, Oregon now has 14 Pac-10 champions who hold a total of 25 trophies on its 2009 roster. Here’s that rather impressive list:

Name Event Year(s)

Keshia Baker W-400 Meters 2008, 2009

Shadrack Biwott M-Cross Country 2007

Nicole Blood W-5,000 Meters 2008

Zoe Buckman W-800 Meters 2009

Matthew Centrowitz M-1,500 Meters 2009

Ashton Eaton Decathlon 2008, 2009

Melissa Gergel W-Pole Vault 2009

Cyrus Hostetler M-Javelin 2009

Galen Rupp M-5,000 Meters 2007

M-10,000 Meters 2007, 2009

M-Cross Country 2006, 2008

Brianne Theisen Heptathlon 2009

Andrew Wheating M-800 Meters 2008, 2009

Chris Winter M-Steeplechase 2009

Jamesha Youngblood W-Long Jump 2009

W-Triple Jump 2009

Rachel Yurkovich W-Javelin 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009


The seventh time that Hayward Field hosted the Pacific-10 Championships certainly proved to be lucky for the host school. The men won the title on home turf for the first time since 1967, while the women accomplished that feat for the first time since 1992. League meets hosted in Eugene were in 1967, 1973, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2006 and 2009.


The University of Oregon honored 22 senior track and field student athletes at their final regular season home appearance during the May 9 Twilight Meet. The 11 seniors on the men’s side have led Oregon to three Pac-10 titles (2007, ’08, 09) and the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championship. The list includes three-time All-American and 2007 Pac-10 cross country champion Shadrack Biwott (Eldoret, Kenya), Vincent D’Onofrio (Castro Valley, Calif.), Brett Johnson (Kentfield, Calif.), Steven Johnson (Medford, Ore.), A.J. O’Connell (Creswell, Ore.), four-time NCAA champion, 12-time All-American and five-time Pac-10 champion Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.), Curtis Suver (Lake Tapps, Wash.), Tanner Targett (Bellevue, Wash.), All-American Scott Wall (Portland, Ore.), Pac-10 3,000 meter steeplechase champion Chris Winter (North Vancouver, B.C.) and James Withers (Santa Rosa, Calif.). The story is much the same on the women’s side where last season, the 11 seniors led Oregon to its first Pac-10 title in 17 years in 2009, and its best showing at the NCAA Championships in 15 years (eighth) in 2008. The 11 seniors are All-American Dana Buchanan (Beachburg, Ontario), Lucy Cridland (Portland, Ore.), three-time All-American Melissa Grelli (Cupertino, Calif.), Megan Maloney (Barrington, R.I.), Ashley McCrea (North Bend, Ore.), All-American Kalindra McFadden (Bozeman, Mont.), Zoe Nelson (Kalispell, Mont.), four-time All-American Lindsey Scherf (Scarsdale, N.Y.), Tara Starodubtseva (Eugene, Ore.), Leah Worthen (Coos Bay, Ore.) and NCAA champion, three-time All-American and four-time Pac-10 champion Rachel Yurkovich (Newberg, Ore.).


Oregon used rousing victories in the men’s 1,500 meters, 800 meters, 10,000 meters, javelin, steeplechase and the decathlon, while the women rolled with wins in the 400 meters, 800 meters, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, javelin and the heptathlon to sweep the Pacific-10 Conference track and field titles for the first time in the program’s storied history May 16-17 at Historic Hayward Field.

The men won their third straight Pac-10 title by scoring a school-record 158 points as Oregon claimed a conference meet victory before the home crowd for the first time since 1967. The Ducks also won three straight league titles for the first time in program history, becoming the first school to accomplish that feat since UCLA won five straight from 1992-96. USC was second with 117 points.

Oregon’s women won their first Pac-10 title since 1992 and third overall with a school-record 165.5 points. Stanford was second at 138.

The Ducks joined UCLA as the only school in school in league history to sweep both the men’s and women’s championships. The Bruins last accomplished that feat in 2004.

Both teams set the tone beginning with dual 19 point showings in the combined events. Ashton Eaton defended his decathlon title by scoring 8,091 points, while Marshall Ackley came in second (7,337). The women’s side was the same with Brianne Theisen winning with a personal-best 5,986 points and Kalindra McFadden taking second (5,780).

In the main weekend of competition, the men ran away with the title thanks to a 1-2-3 sweep in the 1,500 meters. Matthew Centrowitz ran 3:51.00 to became Oregon’s first champion in the event since Dub Myers in 1986. The freshman from Arnold, Md., was followed by Galen Rupp in 3:51.18 and Andrew Wheating in 3:51.27.

The Ducks also counted wins from Wheating in the 800 meters (1:49.83), Chris Winter in the 3,000 meter steeplechase (8:51.48) and Cyrus Hostetler in the javelin (250-5), and top three finishes from Shadrack Biwott (second in both the 5,000 and 10,000), Eaton (second in the long jump, third in the 400) and Alex Wolff (third in the javelin).

The story was much the same for the women, as Jamesha Youngblood pulled off a rare sweep of the long jump (21-1.25) and triple jump (43-2.25), setting UO school records in both events along the way.

The women also counted wins from Keshia Baker in the 400 meters (51.74, No. 2 all-time at Oregon), Zoe Buckman in the 800 meters (2:05.39), Melissa Gergel in the pole vault (14-2, No. 2 all-time at Oregon) and Rachel Yurkovich, who set school, Pac-10 and meet records in the javelin with her winning throw of 191-2. The women recorded top three finishes from Nicole Blood (second in the 5,000), Lucy Cridland (second in the discus), Alex Kosinski (third in the 1,500) Ashley McCrea (third in the javelin) and both relays (third).


Oregon became just the second school in Pac-10 history to sweep the conference’s men’s and women’s championships in the same season. Prior to this year, only UCLA had accomplished that feat. The Bruins have actually accomplished that feat eight times: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998 and 2004.


Oregon broke the collegiate and Hayward Field records in the four-mile relay, running 16:03.24 May 9 before a cheering crowd of 5,726. With fans lining the historic oval at the corner of 15th and Agate, the Ducks broke Michigan’s 2005 collegiate record of 16:04.54 and the 1968 Hayward Field record of 16:05.0, set by Oregon Track Club, one of whom’s runners, Wade Bell, was in attendance Saturday night. Oregon opened the record attempt with redshirt freshman Matthew Centrowitz, who ran 3:59.53. Then 2008 Olympian Andrew Wheating took the baton for a 3:59.60 second leg. Senior Shadrack Biwott clocked a 4:05.21 third leg before handing off to four-time NCAA champion Galen Rupp, who brought the record home with a 3:58.93 final leg.


Eight school records have already fallen by the wayside in 2009 and sophomore Jamesha Youngblood has a piece of three of them. She snapped the school’s long jump and triple jump records at the May 16-17 Pac-10 meet, going 21-1.25 in the long jump to break Julie Goodrich’s 1988 mark of 21-0.5. In the triple, Youngblood leapt 43-0.25 to break Sara Jessie’s 1995 mark of 42-6. Youngblood also ran on the 4x100 meter relay team (Mandy White, Amber Purvis, Keshia Baker, Youngblood) that clocked a 44.17 May 29 at the NCAA West Regional to break their own record set earlier this season. Also at the Pac-10 meet, Rachel Yurkovich extended her own Pac-10 and school records with a throw of 191-2. Freshman Amber Purvis has had a hand in three records. At the Pepsi Team Invitational on April 4, she broke 20-year-old marks in the 100 meters and 200 meters. She ran 11.41 in the 100 meters and 23.09 at 200 meters. She broke the 100 record of 11.58 by Rosie Williams and LeReina Woods, and broke Williams’ 200 time of 23.39. Brianne Theisen became the most recent record-breaker when she ran 13.56 in the 100 meters hurdles at the NCAA West Regional. Theisen broke Lexie Beck’s 28-year-old record of 13:67. Sophomore Claire Michel also broke her own record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, running 10:23.14 March 27 at Stanford.


2008 U.S. Olympic Trials participant Cyrus Hostetler set Pac-10 and Oregon records in the javelin with a throw of 272-10 April 4 at the Pepsi Team Invitational. He broke John Stiegeler’s 2001 mark of 252-10 by 20 feet. That throw leads all Americans in 2009 and is the fourth-farthest throw in NCAA history.


At the May 2 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, Matthew Centrowitz ran the fastest 1,500 meter time in the nation this season, 3:36.92. His time was less than half a second off Olympic gold medalist Joaquim Cruz’s 1984 school record of 3:36.48. The redshirt freshman’s time ranks third all-time at Oregon, behind only Cruz and Centrowitz’s father, Matt Centrowitz, who clocked 3:36.70 in 1976. It was also the seventh-fastest time in NCAA history. Centrowitz was named Pac-10 athlete of the week for his performance.


Other 2009 marks are showing up all over the Ducks’ top 10 lists, including Keshia Baker (2nd, women’s 400, 51.74; 4th, 200 meters, 23.70), Melissa Gergel (2nd, women’s pole vault, 14-2), Brianne Theisen (2nd, heptathlon, 5,986 points; 5th, women’s high jump, 5-10.5), Dana Buchanan (2nd, women’s 3,000 meter steeplechase, 10:28.53), Ashley McCrea (3rd, women’s javelin, 172-1), Kalindra McFadden (3rd, heptathlon, 5,780 points), Brooke Guiffre (4th, women’s 3,000 meter steeplechase, 10:36.26), Shadrack Biwott (4th, men’s 10,000 meters, 28:28.83; 8th men’s 5,000 meters, 13:36.25), Nicole Blood (4th, women’s 5,000 meters, 15:42.13), Alex Wolff (5th, men’s javelin, 235-5), Jordan Roskelley (6th, women’s pole vault, 13-1.75), Mandy White (6th, 100 meters, 11.74), Mattie Bridgmon (6th, women’s 10,000 meters, 33:37.73), Luke Puskedra (6th, men’s 10,000 meters, 28:34.17), Ashton Eaton (7th, men’s 400 meters, 46.34; 8th, men’s 110 hurdles, 14.01; 10th, long jump, 25-6.75), Rita Santibanez (7th, women’s shot put, 48-10.75), Zoe Buckman (7th, women’s 1,500 meters, 4:16.66), Lucy Cridland (8th, women’s discus, 170-4), Lyndsay Pearson (9th, women’s 400 meters hurdles, 60.36), David Klech (9th, men’s 400 meter hurdles, 50.75), Jasmime Kelly (9th, women’s high jump, 5-8.75), Alexandra Kosinski (9th, women’s 1,500 meters, 4:18.43), Diego Mercado (9th, men’s 10,000 meters, 28:48.54), Amber Purvis (10th, women’s 400 meters, 54.27) and Galen Rupp (10, men’s 1,500 meters, 3:39.14). See pages 12-15 for an up-to-date version of the career top 10 lists.


With 12 career All-America awards (nine track, three cross country), senior Galen Rupp is now the most honored student-athlete in school history. He won three NCAA championships at the 2009 indoor nationals to pass Leann Warren, who earned 10 All-America awards combined between women’s track and cross country. Here’s a look at the top five:

Oregon Career All-America Awards, All Sports

1. 12 Galen Rupp, 2005-09 9 MTK, 3 MXC

2. 10 Leann Warren, 1980-85 8 WTK, 2 WXC

3. 8 Steve Prefontaine, 1970-73 4 MTK, 4 MXC

8 Kathy Hayes, 1981-85 5 WTK, 3 WXC

8 Matt Scherer, 2003-06 8 MTK

On the track-only list, his nine career All-America awards are also now tops in University history.

Oregon Career All-America Awards, Track & Field Only

1. 9 Galen Rupp, 2005-09 MTK

2. 8 Leann Warren, 1980-85 WTK

8 Matt Scherer, 2003-06 MTK

3. 6 Kedar Inico, 2004-05 MTK

6 Tommy Skipper, 2005-07 MTK

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