Ducks score in first night of competition

Friday's Pac-10 track meet was once again a big day for the Ducks. For years the Pac-10 meet has scheduled the 10,000 meters, 3,000-meter steeplechase, javelin and long jump on the first day. The men's,women's distance runners and javelin throwers have through the years consistently scored big points for Oregon and usually have the Ducks in first place after the first day of competition.

In the first event started at 10:30 am, the women's hammer throw, Junior Megan Maloney of Oregon threw a personal best, (PR), 184-3 (fifth pr for a Duck in three event finals) to finish eighth behind the first, third and fourth place finish by Arizona State. Arizona State's Sarah Stevens threw 216-11 for the Sun Devil's first Pac-10 championship in this event.

In the first of the qualifying heats (started at 5 pm) for Saturday's finals, the 1,500 meters, Sophomore Nicole Blood won the heat in 4:27.52 and Freshman Alexandra Kosinski finished an automatic qualifying fourth in 4:29.19 to advance both Ducks to the finals. Katie Follett of Washington won the second heat in 4:26.68. In the men's 1,500 meters Russell Brown of Stanford won the first heat in 3:49.00 and Sophomore AJ Acosta of Oregon was the fourth automatic qualifier in 3:49.30. Duck Senior Joaquim Cruz won the second heat in 3:47.99 and Duck Sophomore Jordan McNamara, in his second completed race of the year, was seventh but the third time qualifier in 3:49.22 and advanced to the finals on Saturday.

In heats of the 100 hurdles Sophomore Kimyon Broom of Cal Berkeley had a .29 second pr to have the top time of the day in 13.17 seconds. In the men's 110 meter high hurdles Junior Jordan Paul of Cal won the first heat in 13.89 as the only automatic qualifier. Junior Jordan Huskie was fourth in that heat in 14.61 and missed on qualifying for the final based on time and finished tenth overall. Junior Kevin Craddock of UCLA won the second heat in 13.62 seconds.

The next completed final was the men's Javelin Throw. Two Ducks were seeded to score, Junior Mike Simmons in fourth and Sophomore Alex Wolff in seventh. In the very first throw of the competition Wolff threw a near five-foot pr (219-3). After the first round he was third and Simmons was in seventh. Wolff was knocked down to fourth after the second round and Simmons had to improve to 210-10 to get back into seventh. In round six, Martin Maric of Cal threw 220-5 to knock Wolff down to fifth. Oregon scored six points and still led the competition with 25 points, Cal had 15 points, and Washington State had 14 points.

The women's 400 was up next and Oregon Sophomore Keshia Baker (ninth at last year's Pac-10 meet) is the second seed at 53.52 behind top-seeded Jeavon Benjamin of Arizona State at 53.48. Benjamin was the only automatic qualifier by winning the first heat in 53.54. In the second heat Baker barely lost to Benjamin's teammate Jordan Durham 53.79 to 53.87. Oregon's eighth place finisher at last year's Pac-10 meet, Senior Irie Searcy, finished fifth in a season-best 55.93 and her season in the open 400 meters was over. The third heat had three of last year's five returning Pac-10 finalists. Last year's top retuning finisher, fourth place finisher Merice Wisdom of UCLA, won the third heat in 53.95 for the automatic qualifying place. Myra Hasson of USC, the fastest returning runner at 53.25, was the last time qualifier in fourth place at 54.84. Based on Friday results, Keshia Baker has a very good chance of winning the 400 meters. In the men's 400 meters collegiate leader Jordan Boase of Washington won in 46.26. 2007 NCAA runner-up Lionel Larry of USC won the second heat in 46.24. Sophomore Chad Barlow of Oregon was fourth in his heat and sixth overall with a time of 46.77 and qualified based on time. Duck decathletes Marshall Ackley and Alexey Shkuratov finished last in their heats.

In the women's 100 meters Freshman Mandy White of Oregon set a collegiate pr of 11.92 into a 1.1 meter/second ("m/s") headwind behind freshman sensation Cherrelle of Cal in 11.44. Ashley Bridenbeck was seventh in 12.29. Charonda Williams of ASU won the second heat in 11.47. White finished tenth overall just .03 from finishing in the top nine to qualify for the final. In the men's 100 Senior Phil Alexander of Oregon did not run. Senior Marcus Dillon of Oregon was second in the first heat in 10.59 behind Calvin Abram of Arizona State (ASU) in 10.46. Ahmad Rashad of USC won the second heat in 10.43 and Marcus Dillon of ASU won the third heat in 10.57.

Four field event finals finished in this time. The Pole Vault moved very quickly as the large group of quality UCLA vaulters (four of the top six seeds) scored 17 ½ points with surprise winner Bobby Tally of UCLA winning on fewer misses at 17-1 ahead of top-seeded Graeme Hoste of Stanford and Bruin Greg Woepse. Oregon Sophomore Colin Witter-Tilton finished tied for fifth with a clearance of 16-6 ¾. Marshall Ackley of Oregon made a pr clearance of 15-7 for 18th place (seventh Duck pr in five finals).Oregon was in first at 28 ½ points UCLA was second at 20 ½ points.

The women's Shot Put had a personal record and Arizona State school record by defending NCAA champion Jessica Pressley. She became the collegiate leader by a meter and also moved to second on the all-time Pac-10 list with her throw of 61-7 ¾ as she defeated the two-time defending Pac-10 champion Sarah Stevens, also of ASU. ASU finished first, second and fifth and were running away with the team race with 53 points and in second was USC and Stanford at 14 points after three of 21 events.

In the men's long jump Matt Turner of ASU defended his long jump championship from a year ago with a leap of 25-8 ¾ ahead of 2006 Pac-10 champion Norris Frederick of Washington. Sophomore Ashton Eaton of Oregon finished seventh at 23-8 ¼. Freshman Vernell Warren finished tied for eleventh at 22-7 ¾ and Alexey Shkuratov took one jump and jumped 20-11 ¾. Oregon now had 30 ½ points to 20 ½ for UCLA through four events.

Senior Erica McLain of Stanford won her sixth Pac-10 title by winning the long jump with a best of 21-4. She has now won the second most Pac-10 titles behind the seven of Dawn Dumble of UCLA (1991-1995). Duck Freshmen Jamesha Youngblood of eleventh (19-1 ¼), Brianne Theisen in 13th and Amy Skofstad in 14th did not make the final. Stephanie Garnett and Jacquelyn Johnson of Arizona State were second and third to give ASU 67 points ahead of Stanford at 30 and USC with 17 points after four events.

In the 800 the first two qualified from each heat. Sophomore Zoe Buckman of Oregon finished second in a new collegiate pr 2:05.77, and seventh on the all-time Oregon list, behind 2007 NCAA and US champion Alysia Johnson of Cal in 2:05.73. Alicia Follmar of Stanford won the second heat in 2:07.79. In the men's 800 Sophomore Andrew Wheating of Oregon won the second heat (1:48.39 his second fastest time ever) against all-Americans Russell Brown of Stanford and Austin Abbott of Washington. Freshman Nectaly Barbosa of Arizona State won the first heat against Duane Solomon of USC. Senior Mike McGrath of Oregon was fourth in a season and collegiate best 1:49.49 but finished tenth overall and missed the final.

Last year Sara Trane of WSU had broken the string of six consecutive wins by an ASU athlete (this is the eighth year the event has been held). Sara won again in 10:17.80 and Senior Emily Mathis had another pr to finish in sixth at 10:34.44, just of Dana Buchanon's school record of 10:33.77, and Claire Michel was two tenths off her pr with a time of 10:36.83 in seventh. The two runners are now second and third all time for Oregon. After five events ASU led with 68 points ahead of Stanford with 38 points.

In the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase Kyle Alcorn of ASU won at 8:43.81. Junior Chris Winter of Oregon finished third in a pr of 8:46.91 for his biggest pr gain in four years (his pr had dropped from 8:54 to 8:51.62 since he had come to Oregon). Oregon now had nine prs is nine finals that they had competed in. Redshirt freshman Isaac Stoutenburgh seemed to suffer in the heat and was 16 seconds off the pr he set this year with a time at 9:08.71 for 11th overall. Oregon now led with 36 ½ points to 32 ½ for UCLA.

The heats of the women's and men's 400 meter hurdles were up next. Fifth seeded Kasey Harwood of Oregon ran a pr performance for second in 59.54 (sixth all-time for Oregon) behind Lorraine King of Washington State in 59.13. In the second heat (Shalina Clarke of USC won in 59.59) Junior Leah Worthen had a big pr in fourth at 60.50 for a 1.6 second pr, made the final, and moved into ninth on Oregon's all-time list. In the men's 400 hurdles Junior Jared Huske finished sixth in a season best and regional qualifying mark of 52.47. He finished tenth overall behind Jeshua Anderson of Washington State, 49.97, and did not qualify for the final. Two Sun Devils and two Trojans qualified for the final.

In the women's 200 Mandy White was sixth in her heat and tenth overall behind leading heat runner Carol Rodriguez of USC in 23.06. Phil Alexander won the first heat of the men's 200 in 21.21 and was second-fastest behind Joseph Turner who won heat two in 21.06 ahead of the fifth place finish, and tenth overall, of Marcus Dillon in 21.41. Ashton Eaton was second in the third heat, ninth overall, and the last qualifier for the final with a pr time of 21.39.

NCAA indoor Shot Put champion Ryan Whiting of Arizona State in on the 2008 media guide and was has a chance of making the Olympic Team. As a Freshman Zach Lloyd had competed for Utah State after having the top high school Shot Put in 2003 and 2004. Last year he competed for a community college (63-10 ½) and decided to throw for Arizona this year. Whiting had the top high school throw in 2005 and Darius Savage of UCLA had the second best high school throw of 2006. In the first round Lloyd's teammate Jarred Sola went into the early lead with a near pr throw of 61-6 ¼. Whiting followed with a throw of 64-5 ¼ and Lloyd moved into second at the end of the second flight with a throw of 62-2 ½. In the second round Lloyd moved into the lead with a throw of 64-6 ½ and Whiting threw the first of four consecutive fouls. In the third round Lloyd passed the 21 meter barrier with a throw of 21.03, 69-0. In the sixth round Whiting improved to 66-7 ¼, Sola was fourth after Savage passed him with a throw of 61-6 ¾ in the fifth round. UCLA now had the lead with 42 ½ points to 36 ½ for Oregon.

Junior Rachel Yurkovich of Oregon had only thrown the Javelin three times coming into this meet in order to save herself from the strain of the event. As two-time defending champion she would move closer to Trojan Inga Stasiulionyte's record of four consecutive Pac-10 championships by winning this meet. Oregon was also attempting to win its 11th javelin championship in the last 19th Pac-10 meets. All six of her throws were better than her competitors and her best was 184-0. Junior Ashley McCrae finished sixth with a season best throw of 156-7 and Sophomore Kara Meeuwsen was ninth with a best of 145-0.

The women's 10,000 meters had the fourth ranked collegian, Freshman Alexandra Gitts of Stanford attempting to win the Cardinal's sixth Pac-10 championship in the last seven years. Ali Kielty of Arizona State was ranked 18th and Oregon's Sarah Pearson and Zoe Nelson were the only other Pac-10 runners to reach the NCAA provisional qualifying standard. The four finished in that order with Gitts winning in 36:50.42. Freshman Betsy Bies of Oregon finished seventh in her 10,000-meter debut in a time of 38:01.08. At the end of the day Arizona State led team scoring with 84 points to 59 for Stanford and 41 for Oregon.

The men's 10,000 meters featured Ducks with limited experience at this level. The top two entrants, Hari Mix of Stanford and Jake Schmitt of Washington, had scratched so the top two marks in this event were held by second-year Duck twins Daniel and Diego Mercado. Fellow Freshman Kari Karlsson of Cal had run 29:28.05 and was the third seed. Ducks Scott Wall, Isaac Stoutenburgh, and Chris Winter had opted out of the race. The top returning finisher from last year was Oregon's Sophomore Kenny Klotz, who finished eighth. Klotz had a strong finish last season with a US Junior and PanAm Junior championship in this event. He finished 37th at the NCAA cross country meet this fall.

Senior Duck Carlos Trujillo would run his first 10,000 meters at the Pac-10 meet. This fall he finished eighth at the Bill Dellinger cross country invitational. His finished his high school career with three Idaho 3A state championships but former Duck head coach Martin Smith would not let him run for the team. That year he ran for Tom Heinonen on the Oregon club team and ran 15:11 for 5,000 meters (5k). That fall he was added to Vin Lanana's Duck team and was Oregon's fourth runner at the 2005 West Regional Cross country championships. That spring he ran 14:21.05 for 5k. In 2006 he finished in the top six of all of his cross country races, including the NCAA meet. Last spring he ran 14:06.71 in the Oregon Invite. He ran well for Oregon's cross country team but wore down as the season progressed. He started this spring slowly but ran 13:57.23 at the Oregon Relays this spring.

Friday night, Carlos Trujillo won the Pac-10 championship over teammate Kenny Klotz 30:11.97 to 30:18.77. Redshirt freshmen Diego and Daniel Mercado finished fifth and sixth for the Ducks in 30:22.15 and 30:30.36 for 25 points for the Ducks. After the first day the men of Oregon led with 61.5 points to 48.5 points for UCLA and 35 points for ASU. 38.5 points were scored by Sophomores or redshirt Freshmen for the Ducks.

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