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Relays and 5Ks Lead Near Perfect Day in Austin
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 05/26/2012
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AUSTIN, Texas - Oregon capped a remarkably successful NCAA West Preliminary Rounds meet on Saturday by qualifying 10 individuals and three relays for the NCAA Championships. All told, Oregon will send 31 entries on to the NCAA meet June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa.

"What great performances for the Men and Women of Oregon," said Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. "It's hard to imagine things going much better for us this weekend.

"I'm very excited about the big group of Ducks we have for the NCAA Championships. Now it's time to get home, regroup and get ready to go."

Late into the night at Mike A. Myers Track, Alex Kosinski was one of four runners who broke from the pack midway through the women's 5,000 meter national semifinal and eventually settled into an easy fourth-place finish in 15:56.39 to advance to the NCAA Championships. Allie Woodward was seventh in that heat in 16:17.38 and also advanced to Des Moines based on time.

The men advanced three runners to Des Moines in the 5,000 meters national semifinals. In heat one, Trevor Dunbar and Parker Stinson tucked in behind the lead pack before the pace picked up with three laps to go. Dunbar, a sophomore, from Kodiak, Alaska, briefly took the lead at the bell lap before yielding to Hassan Mead of Minnesota who won in 14:16.06. Dunbar was third in 14:17.81.

Stinson, meanwhile, let the top three move on with 1,200 meters to go, but finished strong on his own the final three laps, never facing a challenge for fourth position. The Austin, Texas, native pleased the hometown crowd by running 14:23.64.

Kwiatkowski nearly outdid that in heat two. The Bellingham, Wash., native maintained contact in the lead pack and was with the group of four that broke away very late. Cam Levins of Southern Utah won in 14:04.75 and Kwiatkowski followed him across in 14:07.19 as the fifth-year senior earned his first career trip to the NCAA Championships.

Stinson came into the meet seeded 27th, while Kwiatkowski was seeded 24th.

The relays were also impressive for the Ducks on Saturday.

Just like it did at the Pac-12 Championships, the men's 4x100 meter relay set the tone for the day by finishing fourth in its heat in 39.86, advancing on time to Des Moines. Football's Dior Mathis got off to a great start and executed a perfect hand off to Arthur Delaney, who held the Ducks in a lead pack down the front stretch. Joeal Hotckins took the third leg and then handed off to school 400 meter record-holder Mike Berry, who nearly caught the leaders down the homestretch. Berry was a late substitution for De'Anthony Thomas.

"De'Anthony Thomas experienced some soreness in his legs during warm-ups and we decided to play it safe and have Mike Berry run the anchor," said Lananna, who also noted that Thomas will be eligible to run at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines.

In the last race of the night, the women's 4x400 meter relay, the Ducks won the third and final heat in 3:29.43, the third-fastest time in school history. Devin Gosberry led off and handed to Chizoba Okodogbe, who moved the Ducks into second after the break. Laura Roesler took the baton and methodically ran down Arkansas, passing the Razorbacks on the home stretch. Phyllis Francis took the anchor leg and held the lead before pulling away around to final curve as the Ducks won by 20 meters. Oregon recorded the fastest time of the night.

The women's 4x100 meter relay squad won its heat in impressive fashion to move on to Des Moines. Francis took the lead leg and handed off to English Gardner, who tore down the front stretch to put the Ducks ahead for good. Lauryn Newson - in the first of her three-event day - brought the stick around to Amber Purvis, who cruised home to win in 43.99.

The women carried that momentum into the 1,500 meters, where Jordan Hasay and Becca Friday posted a 1-2 finish in heat two to advance to Des Moines. The two Duck juniors worked together to stay in the lead pack until Hasay broke to the lead on the bell lap and Friday followed. Hasay won in 4:16.29.

"I felt like I had it again this weekend," said Hasay. "It's nice that it's finally all coming together."

Friday was right behind, galloping home in 4:16.79.

"I was thinking about getting through and qualifying for nationals," said Friday. "I was just ready to go when Jordan went that last 100 meters."

Immediately after that, Johnathan Cabral sped to a personal-best 13.45 to win his 110 meter hurdle heat and advance to Des Moines. That was an Oregon freshman record and the second-fastest time in school history. It was also an Olympic Trials "A" standard for the Calabasas, Calif., native.

"I'm pretty excited to finally get a wind-legal time," said Cabral. "I'm happy with where I'm at right now."

Delaney also advanced to Des Moines individually. The freshman from Gresham, Ore., native was third in his 200 meter heat in a windy personal-best 20.68 to automatically move on.

In the women's triple jump, Newson used a second round jump of 43-2.25/13.16m to finish fifth and move on to Des Moines. Newson also finished sixth in her 200 meter heat in 23.79.

In other action, Chad Noelle finished ninth in his 1,500 meter quarterfinal in 3:49.39.

The 13 NCAA qualifiers added to the 18 Oregon had coming into the day. Saturday's qualifiers will join English Gardner (100), Phyllis Francis (400), Okodogbe (400), Claudia Francis (800), Anne Kesselring (800), Roesler (800), Woodward (10,000), Kimber Mattox (steeplechase), Lanie Thompson (steeplechase), Taylor Wallace (steeplechase), Lauren Crockett (high jump) and Brianne Theisen (heptathlon) to give the women 19 entries for Des Moines.

The last qualifiers for the men will join Berry (400), Elijah Greer (800), Boru Guyota (800), Luke Puskedra (10,000), Sam Crouser (javelin) and Dakotah Keys (decathlon) for 12 men's NCAA Championships qualifiers.

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