EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon men's and women's cross country teams restart the 2010 season with the Notre Dame Invitational, Friday, Oct. 1 at Notre Dame Golf Course in South Bend, Ind. The women's Blue race should be one of the best in the national all season with four of the country's top five teams entered (including No. 5 Oregon). The third-ranked Men of Oregon lead the men's field that also has No. 5 Alabama and No. 14 Villanova.
The men will also send a small contingent to Salem, Ore., for Willamette University's Charles Bowles Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 2.
NOTRE DAME INVITATIONAL WOMEN'S BLUE RACE
Time: 1:15 p.m. PDT (4:15 p.m. EDT)
Length: 5,000 Meters
Teams: The women's race features four of the nation's top five teams, including top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Villanova, No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 Washington and No. 5 Oregon. The remainder of the 24-team field includes No. 8 Princeton, No. 12 New Mexico, No. 19 Texas-El Paso, No. 21 Brigham Young, No. 23 Southern Methodist, No. 24 Iowa, No. 30 Notre Dame, Alabama, Arkansas, Butler, Ohio State, Penn State, San Diego, Southern Utah, Stony Brook, Tulsa, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Utah State and Weber State.
Oregon Entries: The Oregon women have All-Americans in senior Alexandra Kosinski and sophomore Jordan Hasay, plus NCAA veterans in senior Zoe Buckman, juniors Bronwyn Crossman and Claire Michel, sophomores Anne Kesselring and Taylor Wallace. The women also boast a group of freshmen trying to crack the lineup, including Sarah Andrews, Phyllis Francis, Megan Patrignelli, Laura Roesler and Lanie Thompson (redshirt).
At a Glance: With four of the top five teams and 11 ranked squads overall, the women's race should be one of the best all season prior to the NCAA Championships.
NOTRE DAME INVITATIONAL MEN'S BLUE RACE
Time: 2 p.m. PDT (5 p.m. EDT)
Length: 5 Miles (8,000 Meters)
Teams: The No. 3 men's team is the highest of the eight ranked squads in the Blue race. The other 19 teams are No. 5 Alabama, No. 14 Villanova, No. 16 New Mexico, No. 18 Arizona State, No. 21 Florida State, No. 27 Butler, No. 30 UCLA, Fresno State, Indiana State, Notre Dame, Oakland, Penn State, San Diego, Southern Utah, Texas-El Paso, Tulsa, Utah State, Washington and Weber State.
Oregon Entries: The Duck men have three All-Americans on the roster in junior Luke Puskedra and seniors Matthew Centrowitz and Danny Mercado. Oregon also has runners with NCAA experience (senior A.J. Acosta, sophomore Mac Fleet) or Pac-10 Championships experience (junior Bryce Burgess). The men also boast a number of freshman looking to make their mark, including Colby Alexander, Ben DeJarnette (redshirt), Brian Shrader, Parker Stinson and Cole Watson.
At a Glance: The men's race in South Bend will certainly have a western flavor to it with half the teams from Western states: Arizona State, Fresno State, New Mexico, Oregon, San Diego, Southern Utah, UCLA, Utah State, Washington and Weber State. Throw in Texas-El Paso, and that's 11 of 20 teams from the West.
CHARLES BOWLES INVITATIONAL
Oregon will be sending a small contingent of men to compete in Saturday's Charles Bowles Invitational at McCulloch Stadium and Bush Park in Salem, Ore. The 8,000 meter race, hosted by Willamette University, will begin at 9:30 a.m. The Ducks' entrants for the men include senior Ken Scoggin, juniors Spencer Carter and Travis Stanford, sophomore Walker Augustyniak and freshmen Tim Costin, Mitch Hunt and Hank Morrison.
Other Division I schools sending men's runners to Salem include Creighton, Idaho, Lamar, Lipscomb, Portland, Portland State and UC Riverside. Host Willamette is No. 22 in the national Division III poll.
Results for the Charles Bowles Invitational will be available at www.willamette.edu/athletics/bsn/live/xc/.
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-10 Conference
13 Big East Conference
13 Southeastern Conference
9 Big XII
9 Conference USA
8 Big Ten
Next on the fall schedule, the Ducks host the Bill Dellinger Invitational on Oct. 16. The Ducks will also stay in the state for the Beaver Classic on Oct. 23 before the championship season begins with the Pac-10 meet Oct. 30 in Seattle.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE TEAMS
The men are experiencing success on a national level rarely seen in Track Town, 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.
The 2010 Ducks feature three All-Americans in Matthew Centrowitz, Danny Mercado and Luke Puskedra, plus NCAA qualifier A.J. Acosta, but will also need some help from newcomers to replace graduated NCAA veterans like Kenny Klotz and Diego Mercado. Puskedra, a junior from Ogden, Utah, has a pair of top-25 finishes in two NCAA appearances, leading the Ducks with a 21st-place finish in 2010 after taking 16th as a freshman. Centrowitz, a senior from Arnold, Md., earned his first All-America award in 2009 by placing 27th after running 45th as a sophomore in 2008.
Two-time All-American Danny Mercado, a senior from West Covina, Calif., is the most experienced runner on the squad, having run in three straight Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional championships and two NCAA national races, including last year where he posted a career-best 31st-place finish. Acosta, a senior from Oceanside, Calif., is coming off his best season yet on the track and looks to carry that over into the cross country season. He was a member of Oregon's national title squad in 2007, as well as the 2009 runners-up.
The men also have other returning runners with championship level experience. Sophomores Mac Fleet and Bryce Burgess made their Pac-10 debuts in 2009. Fleet, from San Diego, Calif., was 33rd with Burgess, from Portland, Ore., was a spot back in 34th.
Oregon will find its depth in a mixture of true and redshirt freshmen. Incoming newcomer Parker Stinton will be one to watch. The Austin, Texas, native is the reigning U.S. junior 10,000 meter champion. He'll be joined by fellow first-year runners Colby Alexander (Stronsville, Ohio), Brian Shrader (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Cole Watson (Rogue River, Ore.).
The redshirt freshmen include Ben DeJarnette (Mechanicsville, Va.), Elijah Greer (Lake Oswego, Ore.), Mitchell Hunt (Fremont, Neb.) and Elliott Jantzer (Medford, Ore.).
Oregon will be hard-pressed to replace 2009 Pac-10 champion Nicole Blood, who graduated with three career All-America awards in cross country, but the women will look to senior Alexandra Kosinski and sophomore Jordan Hasay to lead a deep, but young Duck team that has been the Pac-10 runners-up for the last three seasons.
Kosinski, from El Dorado Hills, Calif., is both the most consistent and the most experienced runner on the team, having appeared in three straight Pac-10, NCAA West Regional and NCAA Championship races. She's placed in the top 10 at each of the last three Pac-10 and Regional races, and has a pair of All-America awards to show from her national appearances.
Hasay, from Arroyo Grande, Calif., did not disappoint as a freshman. She was the top rookie at the Pac-10 (third) and NCAA West Regional (second) and led all Oregon runners with an 18th-place finish at the NCAA Championships to earn her first career All-America award. Hasay was also chosen at the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year.
Senior Zoe Buckman and junior Claire Michel have experience at Pac-10 and NCAA Regional races. Buckman, from Canberra, Australia, has run at each of the last three Pac-10 and Regional meets. Michel, a native of Clackamas, Ore., showed some of the biggest improvement on the team after taking 12th at the Pac-10 Championships before going on to make her first NCAA appearance in 2009.
Junior Bronwyn Crossman, from Bellingham, Wash., had a breakthrough campaign that culminated in a 17th-place showing at the Pac-10 meet and her first career NCAA Championships appearance a year ago.
Sophomore Anne Kesselring, from Nurnberg, Germany, impressed as a freshman with a top-25 showing at the Pac-10 meet and her first NCAA Championships race. Sophomore Taylor Wallace, from Klamath Falls, Ore., also saw action at the Pac-10 meet as a freshman.
The women also to look to be able to add depth from a strong freshman class that includes Sarah Andrews (The Woodlands, Texas), Phyllis Francis (Laurelton, N.Y.), Megan Patrignelli (Monroe, N.Y.) and Laura Roesler (Fargo, N.D.). The Ducks also have a couple of freshmen who redshirted last season in Alexandria Jones (Lake Oswego, Ore.) and Melanie Thompson (High Bridge, N.J.).
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