Pac-10 Multi and Twilight Results

Ashton Eaton finished 2nd in the Pac-10 heptathlon and exceeded expectations with 7123 points, 19th on the collegiate list. That is probably not enough to get him to the NCAA meet. Kalindra McFadden finished 6th in her first heptathlon of the year at 5115 points, a provisional qualifying mark (36th collegiately).

The winner of the Decathlon was defending Pac-10 and NCAA champion Jake Arnold from Arizona at 7755 points. Eaton was 62 points down the first day from his performance at Jim Click but the second day he scored personal records in the high hurdles at 14.66, pole vault with a clearance of 3.95m,12-11 ½, the javelin at 36.92m, 121-1, and the 1500 with a 4:39.72 run. Alexey Shkuratov was not able to finish the 1500 and finished 11th after he had personal Decathlon collegiate records in the shot put, high hurdles, pole vault and javelin.

In the heptathlon, McFadden had a better mark than last year's 5036 at the Pac-10 meet and once again has been fighting injuries. She had season best marks in the 100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and javelin. Arizona State's Jacquelyn Johnson lost her first collegiate multi-event competition to the twin Pickler sisters, collegiate leader Diana and Julie from Washington State. Diana scored 6018 points, breaking the meet record of 5989 by ex-Duck and Oregon multi event coach Kelly Blair LaBounty from 1993.

Last night at the Oregon Twilight we saw the victory lap that Galen Rupp so richly deserved after his Cardinal Invite 10,0000 meter American Collegiate Record. Rupp now has the third best personal record of all of the currently running American distance runners and an Olympic A standard qualifying time (27:50). If Rupp is among the top three finishers that have the Olympic A standard at next year's Olympic Trials, he will race in the Olympics in Beijing. What was interesting about the post-Cardinal Invite interview with Galen is the re-consideration about the decision to only run the 10,000 meters at the NCAA meet. Obviously he was on a post-race high. He now has the best pr of any current qualifiers by 22 seconds (27:33.48 to 27:55.86 by Josh Rohatinsky). He just defeated the top-ranked 5,000 meter runner, Josh McDougal of Liberty, in that 10,000 meter race. He also defeated the defending NCAA champion, Chris Solinsky, at the Oregon Invite.

Galen also has indicated he definitely plans to run for this fall's cross country team because he thinks (and legitimately so) the team has a shot to win the NCAA championship. That team attitude and the emergence of the Oregon men's throwers and other possible distance runner points may persuade him to double at the NCAA meet. In the last two years a trophy at the NCAA meet has required 36 points (third place for LSU in 2005 and Texas in 2006). The determining factor will be the Oregon qualifiers at the West Regional meet.

Just like last year's Oregon Twilight meet, Vin Lanana used this as an opportunity for athletes to add regional qualifying marks and to fine tune for next week's Pac-10 meet. Last year Amber McGown ran a 5 second personal record in the 800 and ended up surpassing expert prognostications and making the NCAA 1500 meter final. Emily Mathis had a 17 second personal record last year and almost scored at the Pac-10 meet the next week with another five second pr that put her 10th (10:53.95). Zoe Nelson ran a pr in the 1500 at 4:28.55 and came back to help pace the 5,000 meters. Jordan Kent ran a personal record in the 400 at 46.95 which previewed his successful run into the NCAA meet in the 200 and his excellent relay legs in the 4x400 meter relay. Mike McGrath ran an NCAA regional-qualifying 1:50.28 in the 800 and also paced the 1500 meters. This was a pre-cursor to his successfully scoring in both events at the Pac-10 meet.

Some competitors are sharpening their techniques to get ready for championship season. This year Brittany Henry defeated a top-level hammer group, equaled the school record at 67.54 meters, 221-7, set a meet record and moved to third on the collegiate list. She defeated 2005 NCAA champion Loree Smith, 67.48m, 221-5, 2005 US runner-up Bethany Hart (67.20m, 220-6), 2006 US sixth placer Jen Letherman, and ex-Duck NCAA bronze medallist Brittany Hinchcliffe. Rachel Yurkovich got off to an early lead against US champion and record holder Kim Kreiner and extended into the second round (56.68m, 185-11). Kim Kreiner surpassed her on the next throw and kept extending the lead through the fifth round (57.80m, 189-7) for a meet and field record and is the second best throw in the United States this year (second to Yurkovich's 189-11). Ryan Brandel faced a top level post-collegiate javelin group and had his second best meet ever (69.78m, 228-11) for fourth against behind '06 US competitor Brian Krammes (fifth), NCAA runner up Eric Brown and Mike Hazle (sixth at '06 US championships).

Some international and national caliber athletes participated to make for great competitions. Ex-Stanford and Canadian Olympian Malindi Elmore won the 1500 in 4:14.34 and 2004 US Olympian Nicole Teter (2:03.09) defeated Rebekkah Noble (2:03.94) in the 800. 2006 indoor fifth placer Niki McEwen (ex-Duck All-American) equaled the meet record of Becky Holliday (4.30m, 14-1 ¼) to win the pole vault and 2006 outdoor fifth placer in the triple jump Simidele Adeagbo (13.60m, 44-7 ½) just a US season best to win in a meet record. National class-hammer throwers dotted the men's field. Travis Nutter, James Parker, and Swede Mattias Jons staged a dual at the hammer ring. The three finished within two feet of each other (234-8, 233-7, 232-4).

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