Oregon Dominates Pepsi

Eugene -- The skies cleared long enough for Oregon Men and Women Track to chalk up a win in the 2007 Pepsi Invitational. The Duck women recorded 183.50 points to win led by Rebecca Noble's 4:22.20 time to win in the 1500 meters. On the men's side, Galen Rupp was victorious in the 5000 meters with a winning time of 14:00.27.

The Duck men won their portion 211 to Washington's 164, Kansas State at 133 and USC with 118 points.

Oregon competed against Washington, USC and Kansas State, although the Trojans only brought a selected few members of their track team to compete.

The Ducks jumped out early in the competition when Noble and Nicole Blood ran away from the competition in the 1500. Blood finished second with a 4:29.05 time. While more than two participants per school could enter events, only the top two finishers would be awarded points during the competition. Blood later ran in the 5000 meters and finished the race in 16:39.86.

Blood's time gave her a regional qualifying time in the 5,000 meters.

USC's Carol Rodriquez was impressive with wins in the 100 and 200 meters plus anchored the winning time of 3:35.03. What stood out in the relay race was Rodriquez tremendous kick and finish of the one lap under 52 seconds.

The Oregon women's finishing score was nearly 20 points better than Kansas State's 165 points. Washington ended up with 151.50 points and USC scored 121.

Rupp's time also ensured him of a regional qualification. The Central Catholic (Portland) High graduate jumped out to lead the competition in the feature race of the day. Even though teammate Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott finished the event 14:10.83, Rupp looked strong and was never really pushed for the lead.

The Ducks will travel to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, California next week with selected individuals composed of sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers. A few multi-event athletes will participate next week at the Azusa Pacific Hep/Decath event in Azusa, California.

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