Oregon returns to College Station, Texas, the site where the Ducks won their first ever NCAA Men’s Indoor Track & Field national title, for this weekend’s Texas A&M Challenge. The meet is a scored competition between three conferences, the Pac-10, Big XII and SEC. Action gets underway with the men’s and women’s combined events beginning at 4 p.m. PST on Friday, Jan. 29. Saturday’s full day of competition begins at 9 a.m. PST.
The Texas A&M Challenge is an unique event that pits three conferences against each other in a scoring format. Each league is represented by three teams. The Pac-10 features Oregon, Stanford and Washington State. The Big XII will be represented by Texas A&M, Baylor, and Texas. The SEC’s teams are Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina. There are a number of ranked teams in this competition, including No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Texas A&M, No. 7 Arkansas, No. 10 Baylor, No. 15 South Carolina, No. 17 Stanford and No. 21 Washington State for the men, meaning eight of the nine teams are nationally ranked. For the women, it’s No. 1 Texas A&M, No. 2 Oregon, No. 9 Florida, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 11 South Carolina and No. 16 Baylor among the top 25.
SCORING/RESULTS/LIVE WEB CAST
For a live web cast and for live results, check www.aggieathletics.com. Final results will also be posted on www.GoDucks.com. Scoring will be 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 for both individual events and the relays to determine the conference winners.
The Ducks will send around 40 competitors to the Texas A&M Challenge. The men will be led by defending NCAA Indoor heptathlon champion Ashton Eaton, who is also the reigning NCAA outdoor decathlon winner. The Ducks will also send national champions Andrew Wheating (outdoor 800 meters, distance medley relay), A.J. Acosta (distance medley relay) and Chad Barlow (distance medley relay) to College Station, in addition to fellow All-Americans Marshall Ackley (outdoor decathlon), Kenny Klotz (cross country), Luke Puskedra (indoor 5K, outdoor 10K) and Scott Wall (indoor 5K). The women will also feature a combined events national champion in Brianne Theisen (outdoor heptathlon), in addition to All-Americans Keshia Baker (indoor and outdoor 400 meters), Nicole Blood (seven-time distance All-American), Mattie Bridgmon (outdoor 10K, cross country), Zoe Buckman (outdoor 800 meters, distance medley relay), Melissa Gergel (three times in the pole vault), Jordan Hasay (cross country), Amber Purvis (distance medley relay) and Jamesha Youngblood (indoor and outdoor long jump). A complete list of entries can be found at: http://www.aggieathletics.com/sports/c-xctrack/spec-rel/09-meet-info.html.
Texas A&M’s men’s and women’s teams will return the visit to Eugene during the outdoor season. Both Aggie squads will participate in the Pepsi Team Invitational on April 10 at Historic Hayward Field.
IN THE INDOOR RECORD BOOKS
The 2010 season finds a number of school indoor record-holders on the roster. The women’s list is impressive with Amber Purvis holding the 60 meters (7.34) and 200 meters (24.15) marks, Keshia Baker at 400 meters (53.27) Brianne Theisen in the pentathlon (4,321 points) and 60 meter hurdles (8.54), Jamesha Youngblood in the long jump (21-1.25) and members of both relay teams: 4x400/3:36.52 (Youngblood, Purvis, Baker) and the distance medley/11:02.81 (Nicole Blood, Purvis, Zoe Buckman, Alex Kosinski). The men’s record-holders include Ashton Eaton in the heptathlon (6,174 points) and members of the distance medley relay team (Jordan McNamara, Chad Barlow, Andrew Wheating).