Pepsi Review

Oregon won the Pepsi Invitational meet Saturday on the men's and women's side with a balanced effort from middle and long distance runners, throwers, jumpers and men's sprinters. Oregon won the men's meet with 211 points to Washington's 164 points (gaining a measure of revenge from last years loss) and the women won with 183.5 points to Kansas States 165 and Washington's 151.5 points.

The most impressive athletes on the day were three individuals from USC.

Southern California's Carol Rodriguez won two individual events (ranked sixth and fourth in the 100 meters (11.0h seconds) and 200 (23.13) respectively) in meet record times and was a significant factor in two relays that broke meet records. Noah Bryant, also from USC and the recent NCAA indoor shot put champion, won this meet's shot put (66-2 1/4) with a meet record and finished fourth against three competitors that will make the NCAA final in the hammer throw. The third Trojan, Lionel Larry, the second ranked collegian, was a tenth off the meet record in winning the 400 (45.67) and ran an impressive final leg in the men's 4x400 meter relay.

On the women's side of the competition there were just four Oregon wins (compared to USC's eight) in 19 events. Rebekah Noble had an impressive 6.8 second win in the 1500 meters (4:22.25) and ran a 53.5 relay leg in the 4x400 meter relay that put Oregon ahead by 1+ second lead going into the final leg of the 400 meters. Unfortunately a 53.5-second leg by Oregon anchor Keshia Baker was not enough to hold off the sub 51.5 anchor leg by Carol Rodriguez of USC (3:35.06). Nicole Blood picked up valuable second place points in that 1500 meters (4:29.05) by beating NCAA indoor ninth place finisher Amanda Miller and was able to pick up the win in the 5000 meters in a NCAA regional qualifying time of 16:39.89, just nine seconds off her personal record from 2005 when she won the US junior championships. Emily Enders won the pole vault with an outdoor season-best clearance of 12-9 1/2 in bad wind conditions against some of the top female vaulters in the country. Rachel Yurkovich won by 30 feet (174-4) in a sub-standard (bad wind conditions and heavy recent training) performance for her.

The most impressive non-winning performance was school record holder Britney Henry's second place performance that is a season best and her third best performance as a Duck (she is the sixth best collegian of all-time). She is now the number three performer on this year's collegian list and fell short of the number two performer in this meet by just two feet. The second place time of the women's 4x400 meter relay is the second fastest every by an Oregon team, a NCAA regional qualifying mark, and sixth fastest in the country this year. Keara Sammons, still recovering from last weeks NCAA provisional qualifying 10k, worked with her teammate, Nicole Blood, to finish second in an NCAA regional qualifying time of 16:42.78.

Kansas State had six winners led by an excessively windy mark (4.7 meters/second) by Marianne Schlachter that if not illegal (over 4.0 meters/second) would have been, going into this weekend, the top collegiate mark. Beverly Ramos won the steeplechase with a school record (10:41.48) and NCAA regional qualifying mark.

Also winning were collegiate leaders Candice Davis of USC (13.23) in the 100 meter hurdles and USC's 4x100 meter relay (44.16) in non-season best times. Season best performances by NCAA regional qualifiers Myra Hasson of USC in the 400 meters (53.25), third ranked collegian Kaylene Wagner of Kansas State in the high jump (1.86 meters, 6-1 1/4), second ranked collegian Eva Orban in the hammer (66.69 meters, 218-9), Morgan Bonds of Kansas State in the 800 (2:07.51) behind non-scoring ex-Duck Amber McGown (2:07.47), and Thomaida Polydorou of Kansas State (5.52, 18-1 1/2). Also winning were Talia Stewart of USC in the 400 meter hurdles (60.18), Sheree Ellis of Washington in the shot put (14.19 meters 46-6 ¾), and Lindsay Gregoriev of Kansas State in discus (47.39 meters, 155-6).

The men of Oregon fared better with seven wins in 19 events. Philip Alexander contributed to 31 Oregon points. Alexander was the individual 100 meters winner (10.40w 4.7 m/s) and the anchor leg of the NCAA regional qualifying winning season best 4x100 meters relay (40.47). He finished second in a regional qualifying and season best 200 meters (21.07) and was the anchor leg of the third place 4x400 meters relay (3:11.91). Ashton Eaton contributed to 30 Oregon points. Eaton (7.45m, 24-5 ½ w 2.8 m/s) beat two-time NCAA indoor all-American Norris Frederick in the long jump and qualified for the West Regionals and was third in the windy 100 meters (10.51), was a leg of the winning 4x100 meters relay and third place 4x400 meters relay. Andrew Wheating nosed out his teammate, AJ Acosta, at the line in the 1500 meters (3:48.94 to .95) behind non-scoring entrant Tom Brooks of the Oregon Track Club (3:47.52). Chris Winter qualified for the West Regional meet in the 3000 meter steeplechase (9:03.38) behind non-scoring entrant Max King of the Oregon Track Club. Galen Rupp (14:00.27) helped pace his teammate Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott (14:10.83) to an NCAA regional qualifying time. Fifth ranked collegian Ryan Brandel won the javelin by 30 feet (218-9).

Other top marks were the third place performance season best performance by slightly injured (hamstring strain) Brian Richotte in the hammer (64.88 meters, 212-10) which makes him eighth on the all-time Oregon list and the 11th ranked collegian this year. Marcus Dillon participated in the two relays and was second in the 400 meters in an NCAA regional qualifying time of 47.11 and finished third in the 200 meters at 21.44.

The USC men's team had eight wins. In addition to the previously mentioned athletes, second ranked collegiate hammer thrower Adam Midles had another impressive performance (68.18m, 223-8). Kai Kelly won the 110 (14.26) and 400 meter hurdle (51.51) races. Freshmen Ahmad Rashad won the 200 (20.91) and Aaron Dan won the Discus (56.46m, 185-3).

Kyle Lancaster out-leaped his Kansas State teammate Scott Sellers in the high jump (2.16m, 7-1 to 2.10m, 6-10 ¾) but Sellers did win the Triple Jump (14.82 w.2.4 m/s, 48-7 1/2) for the Wildcats two wins on the men's side. Two-time NCAA champion Washington's Ryan Brown got the NCAA qualifier he was looking for in the 800 (1:49.45). Freshman teammate Scott Roth led four teammates in the pole vault (5.05m, 16-6 3/4).

Oregon PR's and NCAA regional qualifiers:
Keara Sammons (outdoor pr) 16:42.78, 5,000 meters
Ashton Eaton (wind-aided but still acceptable for NCAA) 7.45m (w 2.8) 24-5 1/2, LJ

Oregon Season best and NCAA regional qualifiers:
Zoe Buckman (US season) 2:07.45, 800 meters
Nicole Blood 16:39.89, 5000 meters
Oregon 4x400 meter relay 3:36.07, #2 all-time UO
Emily Enders (outdoor) 3.90m 12-9 ½
Britney Henry 65.98m 216-6, #3 collegian
Philip Alexander 21.07, 200 meters
Marcus Dillon 47.11, 400 meters
Chris Winter 9:03.38, 3,000 meter steeplechase
Galen Rupp 14:00.27, 5,000 meters
Shadrak Kiptoo-Biwott 14:20.83, 5,000 meters
Oregon 4x100 meter relay, 40.47
Brian Richotte 64.88m 212-10, hammer throw

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