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Gergel Takes Fourth in Pole Vault to Wrap USA Meet
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 06/26/2011
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EUGENE, Ore. - Melissa Gergel highlighted a light final day for the Ducks with her fourth place finish in the women's pole vault Sunday at the USA Track & Field Championships before a crowd of 10,033 at Historic Hayward Field.

She matched her personal best by clearing 14-7.25/4.45m on her second attempt. The senior from Glenwood, Ill., also had clearances at 14-5.25, 14-3.25 and 14-1.25.

"I'm really happy with my performance, I wanted to break the school record but I matched my personal record, so it was great," said Gergel. "I competed well on my last attempt; it felt good, I just need a bigger pull.

"It's been an amazing four years here, I love competing at Hayward Field. This past season was rough, I started competing late, but I came in and won the NCAA outdoor meet and matched my PR twice, I'm just very happy."

Also in the pole vault, former Duck Becky Holliday had a best clearance at 14-1.25/4.30m and finished seventh.

In the women's long jump, senior Jamesha Youngblood finished 14th with a leap of 20-3/6.17m.

The four-day meet drew a record 40,351 fans to the USA Championships.

"I think that this was a great infomercial for the state of Oregon," said University of Oregon Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna, who will also serve as the head men's coach for Team USA. "It was a fantastic event with lots of energy. Weather was flawless, I think our officials and volunteers did a fabulous job.

The amount of coverage by the media showed our out of town people that Track Town really is Track Town, USA."

A number of Ducks extended their seasons by claiming a spot one of Team USA's senior or junior rosters.

Men's senior 1,500 meter champion Matthew Centrowitz leads the list that will head to the IAAF World Championships Aug. 27-Sept. 4 in Daegu, South Korea, though he will need to run the IAAF "B" standard of 3:38.00 at some point this summer.

Freshman Michael Berry, the fifth-place finisher in the men's 400 meters, is also eligible for Team USA's relay pool.

Former Ducks headed to Korea include Ashton Eaton in decathlon, Galen Rupp in the 10,000 and 5,000 meters and Andrew Wheating in the 1,500 meters, who will move up into Bernard Legat's place, provided he hits the "A" standard of 3:35.00 before the World meet.

Two more Duck graduates, Cyrus Hostetler and Rachel Yurkovich, are eligible for Team USA in the men's and women's javelin, respectively, if they at least hit the IAAF standard in their events.

In junior action, three current Duck freshman earned spots in on Team USA for the junior Pan American Championships next month in Miramar, Fla.

Parker Stinson earned a spot in both the men's 10,000 and 5,000 meters, Phyllis Francis claimed a spot in the women's 400 meters and English Garner has a spot in the women's 100 meters. Both Francis and Gardner are also eligible for relay consideration.

Future Ducks headed to the Pan Am meet include Jenna Prandini in the women's long jump, Greg Skipper in the men's hammer and Elias Gedyon in the men's 1,500 meters.

"I think we have a bunch of really good guys that are somehow affiliated with Oregon," said Lananna. "(Men's hig jump winner) Jesse Williams was great today. We couldn't be more pleased to have him be a representative of Track Town, but more importantly the United States. We're obviously quite fond of Ashton Eaton and we're in a great position to see what he can do in the world stage."

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