Oregon Twilight and Pac-10 Multis

The Oregon Twilight is a meet used by collegians and post-collegians to prepare for the post-season. Oregon has a tremendous history at the mile and the most interesting event at this meet is the mile due to the high number of quality competitors. Both hammer throws and the javelin will have competitors that we rarely see except for national championship events.

In the 100 and 200 Ryan Bailey is trying to qualify for the US junior team and is adjusting to college courses and life. It will take three years for him to get through community college if he wants to go to a division one school. Ex-Jefferson runner Nyema Sims ran for Seattle Pacific this year but is running for a club now. She is a very talented sprinter that Oregon tried to recruit after the 2006 season but she chose to move north. The fact she is running for a club could mean many things, maybe she is transferring to a "local school". Chanel James runs for Spokane CC and those times are legitimate for this talented freshman. She was the top sprinter in the northwest last year when she won the 100 and 200 meters at the Washington state 4A meet.

The elite events start with the 800 meters. Diane Cummins is a four-time World Championship competitor with two final appearances and a 2004 Olympic Games semifinalist appearance. Once again she broke two minutes last year while representing Canada. Lauren Fleshman of Nike and training locally under Vin Lanana is also entered in the 800 and 1500. She knows what she has to do to make the Olympic Games and that is break 15 minutes in the 5,000 meters. Her main US competition has done that already. Also entered in the 800 is Alex Kosinski. She may double at the Pac-10 or is just getting speed work in the 800. Oregon Track Club has three 800 meter US championship finalists entered in the 800 (Christian Smith, Elliot Blount, Brandon Shaw) and three 1500 meter finalists also entered in the 800 (Don Sage, Will Leer and Sean O'Brien). Former Olympic Trials 1500 champion Gabe Jennings is getting speed work.

In the 1,500 meters Mary Jane (Harrelson) Reeves is a consistent US finalist but only has one international championship meet to her credit (2004 World indoor 800 heats). Former Oregon all-American Amber McGown will run in either the 800 meters or 1,500 meters. Zoe Buckman and Nicole Blood are expected to run in the 1,500 meters. 1,500 meter/mile all-American Tasmin Fanning of Virginia Tech is also expected to run.

Andrew Wheating of Oregon, US indoor mile champion Rob Myers, US indoor mile fourth place finisher Will Leer and Gabe Jennings are entered in the men's 1,500 meters. Jordan McNamara is expected to run his second race of the year and Duck senior Mike McGrath, and Oregon redshirt Matthew Centrowitz is expected to run. Jeff See of Ohio State is visiting to get a good competition. Ryan Kirkpatrick ran 13:19.68 in the 5,000 meters last year to get his Olympic A qualifying standard and will use this race to improve his best finish in the 10,000 meters (ninth) or improve on last year's 5k finish (14th) In the 3,000 meter Steeplechase Chris Winter of Oregon will help pace four recent US finalists, 2006 third place finisher Dan Huling, 2007 finalists Michael Spence in sixth, Ben Bruce in seventh and Thomas Chorny in eleventh. Two former BYU all-Americans Mindy Neeley and Amy Menlove will compete in the long jump. Ex-Duck Pac-10 champions Kyley Johnson and Chris Nelson will compete in the high jump. Freshmen indoor all-american Melissa Gergel will attempt to get her first outdoor clearance in the pole vault after her no-height in her first meet outdoors at the Oregon Relays.

Kristin Heaston won her third US shot put title last year and was in the top three for the sixth time in the last seven years. Last year the 32 year-old former Cal Bear pr'd with a throw of 61-5 ¾ at the US championships, making her one of just three Americans with the Olympic A qualifying standard. To clarify what the Olympic qualifying standards mean, Olympic A means all three can participate in the Olympic Games if US track chooses them (they would all be chosen if they finish in the top three at the Olympic Trials). Competing against her will be Adriane Blewitt who was eighth at the US championships last year but was sixth the previous two years.

Four-time US champion and American Record Holder Kim Kreiner (210-7) had a great start to last season but injuries slowed her at the US championships and Dana Pounds, two-time NCAA champion, beat her for the first time. They will face each other again at this meet. Former Duck NCAA runner-up Sarah Malone is making her comeback from ankle injuries. Fellow Newberg high school grad Mallory Webb was also an all-American while at Fresno State. 2007 NCAA champ and last year's fifth place US finisher Lindsey Blaine of Purdue will try to use this meet to improve her national standing. The men's javelin throw will have former Ducks Ryan Brandel and John Stiegler throw against current Ducks Alex Wolff and Britton Nelson and former NCAA champion Eric Brown.

Last year Amber Campbell finished fifth at the US championships but the previous three years she was third. She will throw against last year's runner-up Kristal Yush and last year's sixth, seventh and eighth place finishers Bethany Hart, Loree Smith and Britney Henry respectively. Other US and NCAA finalists will compete also. In the men's hammer two-time defending US champion AG Kruger will compete against last year's fourth place finisher Travis Nutter, seventh place finisher Michael Mai and other US and NCAA finalists. Included in the competition are the Duck trio of Colin Veldman, Jordan Stray and Steven Johnson.

Many athletes are here to throw at the new Oregon facilities in anticipation of the Olympic Trials. Expect surprises due to the proximity of the Olympic Trials.

Also going on is the Pac-10 multi-events competition. On the women's side Jacquelyn Johnson of Arizona State, the six-time NCAA champion, is a big favorite over indoor third place finisher Shevell Quinley of Arizona, freshman Brianne Thiesen and junior Kalindra McFadden of Oregon and Shana Woods and Nia Ali of USC. The five behind Johnson are within 229 points of each other. On the men's side NCAA indoor runner-up Josh Hustedt of Stanford will be an underdog to fourth ranked collegian Ashton Eaton of Oregon and fifth ranked Rickey Moody of Washington State. Eaton's decathlon score is lower than it should be by about 60 points because of an odd start by the starter of the 100 meters at the Sacramento Nike Elite meet. Junior Alexey Shkuratov of Oregon (pr 6720) will hopefully have a better performance in the 1,500 than last year and, due to early season performances, should get a pr. Sophomore Marshall Ackley of Oregon has also improved significantly this year (6356, a pr by 246 over last year) and score his first points for the Ducks.

eDuck Top Stories