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Nearly 30 Current, Future and Former Ducks Head to USA Track & Field Championships
Release Date: 06/23/2009
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EUGENE, Ore. -- Nearly 30 current, future and former Oregon track and field athletes will be in competition this Thursday through Sunday at the 2009 USA Track and Field Championships, which will be held at Historic Hayward Field.

Headlining that group are 2009 NCAA champions Galen Rupp, Ashton Eaton, Rachel Yurkovich and Andrew Wheating.

Rupp, a senior from Portland, Ore., has qualified in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, which are the two events the 14-time All-American won at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The 2009 USA meet will mark the final time that Rupp, the 2009 academic All-American of the year for men’s track and field, will wear the Oregon singlet. The 10,000 meter final is slated for Thursday night, while the 5,000 is on Friday. Rupp ran second in the 10,000 at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Meanwhile, Wheating, a junior from Norwich, Vt., has marks in both the 800 and 1,500 meters. The 2009 NCAA 800 meter champion finished second at that distance at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials to earn a spot on Team USA.

Yurkovich, a senior from Newberg, Ore., was the bronze medalist at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials and went on to win gold at the 2009 NCAA Championships. The women’s javelin is set for Saturday evening.

Eaton, a junior from Bend, Ore., has won two straight NCAA decathlon titles and was the top collegian at the 2008 Olympic Trials where he finished fifth.

The decathlon runs Thursday and Friday.

Other current Oregon athletes listed among the USA Championships qualifiers include juniors Cyrus Hostetler and Alex Wolff in the men’s javelin, junior Nicole Blood in the women’s 5,000 meters, junior Keshia Baker in the women’s 400 meters, junior Mattie Bridgmon in the women’s 10,000 meters, sophomore Melissa Gergel in the women’s pole vault, senior Kalindra McFadden in the heptathlon, junior Jordan McNamara in the men’s 1,500 meters, freshman Luke Puskedra in the men’s 10,000 meters, senior Scott Wall in the men’s 5,000 meters and sophomore Jamesha Youngblood in the women’s long jump.

Freshman Matthew Centrowitz posted a qualifying time in the men’s 1,500 meters, but has scratched from the meet due to injury.

Also, current Duck sophomore Brianne Theisen will be in action this weekend at the Canadian track and field championships in Toronto. Theisen, the defending NCAA champion in the heptathlon, will compete in that event Thursday and Friday in a bid to make Canada’s world championships team.

In the USA Junior Track and Field Championships, Oregon will be represented by freshmen Brian Schaudt in the men’s triple jump, Amber Purvis in the women’s 100 and 200 meters, Lyndsay Pearson in the women’s 400 meter hurdles and Ashley Potter in the women’s triple jump.

Future Ducks who have signed national letters of intent to compete for Oregon next season and are entered in the meet include Jordan Hasay, who is entered in the women’s senior meet at 1,500 meters. Others, who will appear in the junior meet, include Becca Friday in the women’s 800 meters, Taylor Wallace in both the women’s 1,500 and 3,000 meters, Elijah Greer in the men’s 800 meters and Mac Fleet in the men’s 1,500 meters.

There are also four former Ducks in the senior meet. Tommy Skipper is in the men’s pole vault, Becky Holliday is in the women’s pole vault, Britney Henry is in the women’s hammer and Juan Carlos Trujillo is in the men’s 10,000 meters.

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