EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon cross country teams return to Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday, Nov. 22 for the 2010 NCAA Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course. The women's 6,000 meter race is first at 9:08 a.m. PT (12:08 p.m. ET), with the men's 10,000 meters going off at 9:48 a.m. PT (12:48 ET).
The Ducks enter the Championships ranked No. 3 on the men's side and No. 6 for the women. Last season, Oregon was the men's runner-up, while the women placed ninth. The men return four of the seven individuals who ran in Terre Haute last year, including All-Americans Luke Puskedra, Matthew Centrowitz and Danny Mercado. A.J. Acosta was also a member of the 2009 NCAA squad.
This will be the third NCAA Cross Country Championships for all four runners. Centrowitz and Puskedra were both members of Oregon's 2008 NCAA title team, while Acosta and Mercado were both members of the 2007 national title squad.
The women have a pair of All-Americans in Alex Kosinski and Jordan Hasay and perhaps even more NCAA experience than the men. Kosinski will be making her fourth NCAA appearance, having won All-America honors during Oregon's back-to-back runner-up seasons of 2007-08. Hasay earned her first All-America award as a freshman in 2009 with an 18th-place finish.
The women also have a number of runners with NCAA Championships experience. Senior Zoe Buckman was a member of the 2007 and 2008 NCAA runner-up teams, while Bronwyn Crossman, Anne Kesselring and Claire Michel all ran at the 2009 Championships.
The 2010 NCAA Championships will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.ncaa.com.
DUCKS AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Women: Oregon has won this event twice, in 1983 and 1987, and has been the runner-up on five other occasions (1979, 1981, 1988, 2007, 2008). UO is one of only seven schools that has won the national title more than one time. Oregon has produced 13 top-10 individual finishes at the NCAA Championships, including Alexandra Kosinski's eighth place showing and Nicole Blood's 10th place showing in 2008. The Ducks' last runner to finish higher than eighth was Lisa Karnopp, who ran third in 1991. The best individual finish by an Oregon woman was second by Leann Warren in 1981.
Men: Oregon has won this event six times, including the 2007 and 2008 NCAA Championships. Oregon's other titles came in 1971, 1973-74 and 1977. The Ducks are one of just four schools who have won at least six NCAA men's cross country titles. The others are Arkansas, Michigan State and Texas-El Paso. An Oregon individual has won this race on five occasions: Steve Prefontaine, only of only three, three-time NCAA cross country champions, won in 1970-71 and 1973. Alberto Salazar was the 1978 champion and Galen Rupp was the 2008 winner. Last year, Oregon was the only school to produce four All-Americans: Luke Puskedra - 21st, Matthew Centrowitz - 27th, Kenny Klotz - 29th and Danny Mercado - 31st.
NCAA THREE DOT NOTES
* The Oregon men are making their fifth straight NCAA appearance and 31st appearance overall.
* The Ducks' five consecutive NCAA bids are the most since making five straight appearances from 1995-99.
* Of the Ducks' previous 30 appearances, 19 resulted in trophies (top-four finish): 6 championships, 8 runner-up finishes, 4 third-place finishes and a fourth-place finish.
* The Oregon women are making their fourth straight NCAA appearance and 21st overall.
* The Ducks' four consecutive NCAA bids are the most since making six straight appearances between 1990-95.
* Of the Ducks' previous 20 appearances, nine resulted in trophies (top-four finishes): 2 championships, 4 runner-up finishes, 1 third and two fourths.
* The 2010 Women's Indoor Track & Field title was the 17th national championship in school history. The others are men's outdoor track & field in 1962, 1964, 1965, 1970 and 1984, women's outdoor track & field in 1985, men's indoor track & field in 2009, men's cross country in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 2007 and 2008, women's cross country in 1983 and 1987, and men's basketball in 1939.
HASAY NAMED USTFCCCA WOMEN'S WEST REGION RUNNER OF THE YEAR
Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional champion Jordan Hasay has been named the 2010 USTFCCCA Women's West Region Athlete of the Year. The sophomore from Arroyo Grande, Calif., won the NCAA West Regional over Cal's Deborah Maier by five seconds. Hasay also claimed the Pac-10 individual title and, despite losing a shoe with a mile left, was seventh at the Notre Dame Invitational earlier in the season.
She is the second Duck to be selected as the West Region athlete of the year in three seasons. Teammate Alex Kosinski was the 2008 winner.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS WOMEN'S RACE
Time: 9:08 a.m. PST (12:08 p.m. EST)
Length: 6,000 Meters
Live Web Cast: www.ncaa.com
Results: www.goducks.com and www.ncaa.com
Teams (31): Arizona, Boston College, Colorado, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgetown, Iowa State, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, Princeton, Providence, Rice, Stanford, Stony Brook, Syracuse, Texas, Texas Tech, Toledo, Tulsa, Villanova (defending champion), Virginia, Washington.
Oregon Entries: The Duck women have senior Alex Kosinski, a two-time cross country All-American, and sophomore Jordan Hasay, the 2010 Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional individual champion, among their entries. Oregon also has senior Zoe Buckman, juniors Bronwyn Crossman and Claire Michel, sophomores Becca Friday, Anne Kesselring and Taylor Wallace and freshmen Sarah Andrews and Lanie Thompson (redshirt) among its entries.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS MEN'S RACE
Time: 9:48 a.m. PST (12:48 p.m. EST)
Length: 10,000 Meters
Live Web Cast: www.ncaa.com
Results: www.goducks.com and www.ncaa.com.
Teams (31): Alabama, Arkansas, Brigham Young, California, Colorado, Duke, Florida State, Georgetown, Indiana, Iona, Louisville, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina State, Northern Arizona, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State (defending champion), Oregon, Penn State, Portland, Princeton Providence, Richmond, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas, Villanova, Virginia, William & Mary, Wisconsin. Defending NCAA individual champion Sam Chelanga of Liberty is also among the individual entries for the race.
Oregon Entries: The Duck men have three All-Americans among their entries in junior Luke Puskedra and seniors Matthew Centrowitz and Danny Mercado. Oregon also lists senior A.J. Acosta, junior Chris Kwiatkowski, sophomore Bryce Burgess and freshmen Ben DeJarnette (redshirt), Mitch Hunt, Brian Shrader and Parker Stinson.
Each team is allowed seven runners. Of those, the top five account for the team score and the next two may displace runners from opposing teams.
The LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center was dedicated on October 17, 1997. The land for the course was donated by LaVern Gibson for the development of the facility. Indiana State and Boston Celtic basketball star Larry Bird made a donation to the facility in honor of his father, Joe Bird, and the donation was matched by Max and Greg Gibson in the name of their father and grandfather respectively. The 240 acres of land is a reclaimed coal mine and includes the cross country course, softball, soccer and football fields and an indoor facility.
The women complete one lap on the winding and undulating 6,000 meter course, while the men will run two circuits for their 10,000 meters. The women will navigate approximately 12 turns, while the men will cover approximately 22 of them. Most of the course is grass, with a number of gentle drops and rises in elevation.
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
Ducks Go Pink for Dellinger Invitational
The University of Oregon men's and women's cross country teams wore special pink uniforms at the Oct. 16 Bill Dellinger Invitational. The Ducks donned the special singlets, donated by Nike, in recognition of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
These uniforms, including one signed by former Duck Olympian Andrew Wheating, are currently being auctioned off on www.goducks.com. Proceeds from that auction will be donated to the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute.
The Men and Women of Oregon wore a white singlet with "OREGON" in classic lettering arced across the chest. The throwback style top was based on what the Duck men wore in 1969 when a freshman named Steve Prefontaine led Oregon to its first cross country NCAA title.
For more information on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit www.nbcam.org, or www.wvcancerinstitute.com for information on the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute.
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 fifth 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 four 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 for his second career All-America award. 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. Sophomore Bryce Burgess made his Pac-10 debut in 2009, finishing 34th.
Oregon will find its depth in a mixture of returning veterans and true and redshirt freshmen. Senior Ken Scoggins is a veteran presence, while junior Chris Kwiatkowski is finally healthy after myriad setbacks early in his career. 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 runner Brian Shrader of Flagstaff, Ariz.
The redshirt freshmen include Tim Costin (Springfield, Ore.), Ben DeJarnette (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Mitchell Hunt (Fremont, Neb.).
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 four straight Pac-10, NCAA West Regional and three NCAA Championship races. She's placed in the top 10 at each of the last four Pac-10 races, and has a pair of All-America awards to show from her national appearances.
The 2010 Pac-10 individual champion, 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) meets 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 four 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 2009 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. Oregon also has sophomores Becca Friday and Sarah Penney.
The women also to look to be able to add depth from a strong freshman class that includes Sarah Andrews (The Woodlands, Texas) as well as redshirt freshman Melanie Thompson (High Bridge, N.J.).