EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon’s nationally ranked cross country teams will open the 2014 season by hosting the ninth annual Bill Dellinger Invitational on Friday, Sept. 5. This year, the Dellinger returns to its roots on Pre’s Trail in Eugene’s Alton Baker Park.

The women’s 6,000 meter race will go off at 5:45 p.m., while the men’s 8,000 meter race, featuring defending NCAA champion Edward Cheserek of Oregon. will start at 6:15 p.m.

Admittance is free and spectators may also park for free at Autzen Stadium.

WHAT TO WATCH
Edward Cheserek returns to competition following a summer of well-earned rest. The sophomore is coming off a freshman campaign for the ages that saw him win the 2013 NCAA cross country title, the 2014 NCAA Indoor 3,000 and 5,000 meter crowns and the NCAA Outdoor 10,000 meters. Senior Eric Jenkins is also slated to make his Oregon cross country debut. Additionally, the women’s race features two of the top teams in the nation with No. 2 Oregon and No. 6 Michigan State squaring off. Look for Alli Cash - the only freshman to qualify for the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 1,500 meters - to make her cross country debut for the Ducks. The Spartan women took sixth at the 2013 NCAA cross country championships, while Oregon was 14th. MSU will be led by 2014 NCAA steeplechase champion Leah O’Connor.

A SPARTAN WEEKEND
With much of the sporting nation focused on Saturday’s football game between No. 3 Oregon and No. 7 Michigan State, the Dellinger meet also features a compelling meeting between the Ducks and Spartans, among other teams. Next weekend, the Duck volleyball team will host Michigan State, while the UO baseball team will play the Spartans for a three-game set at PK Park in the spring.

ENTRIES
The men have entered seniors Jeramy Elkaim, Eric Jenkins, Ryan Pickering, Cole Watson and Daniel Winn, juniors Chris Brewer, Matt Jablonski and Matthew Melancon, sophomore Edward Cheserek, and five redshirt freshmen slated for their Oregon cross country debuts in Jackson Darland, Bryan Fernandez, Chris Mulverhill, Travis Neuman and Sam Prakel.

The women’s entries for Friday’s race include seniors Lindsay Crevoiserat and Megan Patrignelli, juniors Ally Aschbacher, and Abbey Leonardi, sophomores Ashley Maton, Brianna Nerud and Maggie Schmaedick, and redshirt freshmen Alli Cash, Nikki Hiltz and Kelly O’Neill. Nerud is a transfer from Syracuse making her Oregon debut.

BILL DELLINGER INVITATIONAL WOMEN’S RACE
Time: 5:45 p.m. PDT
Length: 6,000 Meters
6K Course Record: 19:25, Jordan Hasay, Oregon, 2010
Twitter: @OregonTF
Live Results: http://rtspt.com/events/oregon/dellinger14/ (also will be posted on www.goducks.com)
Teams (5): Michigan State, Oregon, Oregon State, Portland, Portland State.
Rankings: An interesting season opener features a pair of top-10 teams in No. 2 Oregon and No. 6 Michigan State. The Ducks are the top team in the West Region, with Portland at No. 10, Oregon State at No. 11 and Portland State at No. 15.
Oregon Entries: Seniors Lindsay Crevoiserat and Megan Patrignelli, juniors Ally Aschbacher and Abbey Leonardi, sophomores Ashley Maton, Brianna Nerud and Maggie Schmaedick, and freshmen Alli Cash, Nikki Hiltz and Kelly O’Neill.

BILL DELLINGER INVITATIONAL MEN’S RACE
Time: 6:15 p.m. PDT
Length: 8,000 Meters
8K Course Record: 22:58, Josh Rohatinsky, Brigham Young, 2006
Twitter: @OregonTF
Live Results: http://rtspt.com/events/oregon/dellinger14/ (also will be posted on www.goducks.com)
Teams (4): American, Michigan State, Oregon, Portland State.
Rankings: The Ducks come in the meet ranked third nationally, with Michigan State among the teams also receiving votes. Oregon is the top-ranked team in the West Region, while the Spartans are No. 5 in the Great Lakes Region and American is the No. 12 team in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Oregon Entries: Seniors Jeramy Elkaim, Eric Jenkins, Ryan Pickering, Cole Watson and Daniel Winn, juniors Chris Brewer, Matt Jablonski and Matthew Melancon, sophomore Edward Cheserek, and freshmen Jackson Darland, Bryan Fernandez, Chris Mulverhill, Travis Neuman and Sam Prakel.

SCORING
The place of the first five finishers counts toward the team score. The next two runners may displace runners from opposing teams. First place is worth one point, second place two points, etc. Low score wins.

KIDS’ FUN RUN
After the men’s race, kids 12 and under are invited to participate in a brief fun run on the Course that will conclude at the finish line. Members of the Oregon track and field team will assist with the Kids’ Fun Run.

AWARDS CEREMONY
Immediately following the Kids’ Fun Run.

AUTOGRAPH SESSION
Immediately following the awards ceremony, there will be an autograph session with Oregon coaches and student-athletes near the finish line.

PARKING
Free spectator parking will be at Autzen Stadium.

THE COURSE
Pre’s Trail in Alton Baker Park will be the site of the Bill Dellinger Invitational. Athletes will race almost entirely on the woodchip trails constructed by the Oregon Track Club in memory of Steve Prefontaine. The course consists of two primary loops — the larger “Park” Loop and the smaller “Stadium” Loop. The Park Loop is approximately 2,200 meters in length and the Stadium Loop is approximately 1,000 meters in length. From the starting line, athletes will run clockwise around the Park Loop, crossing the footbridge by Autzen Stadium and use the connector to reach the start of the Stadium Loop. After completing the Stadium Loop, athletes will cross back over the footbridge, and begin running the Park Loop in a counterclockwise direction. The women will run the Park Loop 1.5 times and the men will run the Park Loop 2.5 times before finishing down the start/finish straightaway.

LOOKING AHEAD
The Ducks travel to Boston, Mass., for the Battle in Beantown on Sept. 26.