Skipper Wraps Up Pole Vault Crown

Eugene, Ore. -- Saturday was a great day for a track meet at Hayward Field and the Oregon Ducks took full advantage of the home field when Tommy Skipper wrapped up the Pac-10 Pole Vault championship with a mark of 18-00.50, edging out UCLA's Mike Landers (17-08.50). The win gave Skipper his second straight pole-vaulting crown in the Pac-10. The final day of the championships will conclude on Sunday.

(PHOTO) Tommy Skipper misses his second attempt at 19 feet during the Pac-10 Championships held at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene. (Photo by Steve Summers)

Skipper's feat though may have been outdone by Aaron Aguayo in the Men's 3000-Meter Steeplechase and Robert Cheseret in the 10,000. Aguayo finished his race in 8:35.04 and thus became the Pac-10 champion in that event for the third year in a row. Cheseret won the 10,000 in a time of 30:32.92 just ahead of Oregon's Galen Rupp (30:42.10).

The hometown crowd reported at 5,792 was clearly behind Skipper as he moved up in the competition all afternoon long. Skipper's efforts anchored a solid effort by his teammates that found the women in second place (50 points) going into Sunday and the men with 42 points and in third place. Arizona State led in team points for the women with 82.50. Arizona with 56 points and UCLA (47) are in first in second place.

A number of Ducks advanced from preliminary events on Saturday to the finals on Sunday. Mike McGrath recorded a qualifying time of 1:51.16 in the Men's 800 and also moved on in the Men's 1500 with a time of 3:49.37.

The Duck sprinters had a good day when Richard Del Rincon qualified in both the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.34 and in the 200 meters (20.92). Joining Del Rincon in the 200 meters on Sunday will be Matt Scherer who had a personal best of 20.89 and all-everything Jordan Kent (21.23).

A pair of Duck hurdlers qualified for the finals. Akobundu Ikwuakor notched a time of 52.23 in the 400-meter hurdles and earlier in the day had a time of 14.13 in the 110-meter hurdles. Eric Mitchum moved on when he ran 52.13 in the 400-meter hurdles and 13.71 in the 110.

Two women qualified in the Women's 800-meter run. Rebekah Noble finished in 2:08.89 while Sara Schaaf was just behind at 2:08.98. Amber McGown ran the 1500 in 4:27.96 while Noble qualified in the same event at 4:28.75.

Other noteworthy scores were turned in by Kasey Harwood (59.84) in the Women's 400-meter hurdles that gave the Ducks two points. Roslyn Lundeen's throw of 158-02 in the Javelin was good five points and Elisa Reynoso added two more points in the same event with an effort of 143-08. Dana Bennett (10:35.59) and Mandi Fitz-Gustafson (10:40.11) contributed five and three points respectively in the Women's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase. Lauryn Jordan leaped 5-08.75 giving the Women Ducks four points. In the last event of the day the Ducks got a total of three points when Sarah Pearson finished the Women's 10,000 in 36:01.14 (two points) and Zoe Nelson had a time of 36:14.11 (one point) in the same race.

Javelin thrower Rachel Yurkovich's throw of 166-03 won the event and gave the Ducks 10 points.

The men had scoring from Colin Veldman in the Hammer with a throw of 192-01 good for three points. Chris Winter's fourth place finish in the Men's 3000 Steeplechase was good for five points. Skipper's win gave the Ducks 10 points in the Pole Vault and his teammate Joe Derby's mark of 16-06.75 meant two more points. Veldman's 56-04.50 in the Shot Put was good for .5 points.

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