With the 2013 indoor track and field season beginning on Saturday for Oregon's men and three-time defending NCAA champion women, goducks.com will preview each position in the days leading up to the opener in Nampa, Idaho.
2013 Indoor Track and Field Outlook - Middle Distance/Distance
The calling card for the indoor success of the Ducks' men's and women's track teams has been the distances and middle distances. Not only has Oregon been able to rack up the points in the 800, mile, 3,000 and 5,000, but many of those runners have been able to come back and contribute on the Ducks' highly successful distance medley relay teams.
It's a combination parlayed into at least 20 points for each of the last three women's championship teams, including 24 in 2012. All of those points return for 2013 in senior runners Jordan Hasay, Becca Friday and Anne Kesselring, as well as juniors Laura Roesler and Chizoba Okodogbe, who took the DMR's 400 meter leg.
Hasay (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) was the 2011 NCAA indoor champ in both the mile and 3,000 meters and was third and fourth, respectively, in those two events in 2012. Kesselring (Nurnberg, Germany) is a former NCAA outdoor 800 meter champion who actually holds the school record in the mile at 4:32.61. Friday has been a gritty performer since day one for the Ducks. The Bellingham, Wash., native was fourth nationally in the mile in 2012.
Behind those three, there is a lot of depth, starting with Roesler (Fargo, N.D.), who is looking to score indoors in the 800 after taking fourth outdoors last spring. Sophomore Claudia Francis (Queens, N.Y.) is also nationally experienced at 800 meters. Redshirt freshman Allie Woodward (Green Bay, Wis.) was an All-American in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters last spring as she turns her attention to her first indoor season.
Other returners in the distance group include redshirt freshman Molly Grabill (Poway, Calif.), juniors Megan Patrignelli (Monroe, N.Y.) and Sarah Penney (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) and senior Taylor Wallace (Klamath Falls, Ore.).
Newcomers to track include senior transfers Alexi Pappas (Dartmouth) and Katie Conlon (Jamestown College) and freshmen Skylar Evans (Crozier, Va.), Megan Fristoe (Bend, Ore.), Annie Leblanc (Repentigny, Quebec), Abbey Leonardi (Kennebunkport, Maine) and Ashley Maton (Bend, Ore.).
With the exception of last season, the men have also had terrific success indoors from 800 meters on up, and look to get back to that level as Elijah Greer and Mac Fleet come off redshirt seasons.
Greer (Lake Oswego, Ore.) is a junior indoors who ranks second only to Andrew Wheating in the 800 meters (1:47.02), while Fleet (San Diego, Calif.), also a junior, holds the school record in the mile (3:57.70).
Backing them is another pair of junior distance runners, Trevor Dunbar and Parker Stinson. Dunbar (Kodiak, Alaska) ranks third indoors at UO in both the 3,000 (7:51.55) and 5,000 (13:36.86), while Stinson (Austin, Texas) is fourth at 5,000 meters (13:39.22).
The remainder of Oregon's distance group is filled out by talented runners looking to make the jump to the next level. Junior Boru Guyota (Portland, Ore.) and sophomore Russell Hornsby (Williamsburg, Va.) are both Pac-12 level performers at 800 meters, while sophomores Colby Alexander (Strongsville, Ohio) and redshirt freshman Chad Noelle (Greene, N.Y.) reached that level at 1,500 meters.
Others on the team include juniors Tim Costin (Springfield, Ore.), Ben DeJarnette (Mechanicsville, Va.), Mitch Hunt (Fremont, Neb.), Hank Morrison (Carmel, Calif.) and Cole Watson (Rogue River, Calif.), sophomores Jeramy Elkaim (Livingston, N.J.) and Daniel Winn (Portland, Ore.) and redshirt freshmen Chris Brewer (Vista, Calif.), Matt Jablonski (Cockeysville, Md.), Matthew Melancon (Eugene, Ore.) and Ryan Pickering (West Palm Beach, Fla.).
Newcomers include a pair of interesting transfers from Virginia in junior Brett Johnson and senior Patrick Todd, as well as senior Matt Miner (Dartmouth) and freshmen Chris Bray (Kyoto, Japan), Joe Holvey (Eugene, Ore.) and Trent Warren (Chula Vista, Calif.).
The 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are coming to Historic Hayward Field June 5-8 (www.ncaa.com/trackandfield).