Men's Track & Field Signs Decathlete and Middle Distance Runner

May 20, 2002

EUGENE - The University of Oregon men's track and field team announced the addition of area middle distance runner Ryan Flaherty as its 10th signee of the incoming 2002-03 newcomer class.

The Bend, Ore., native and Mountain View High School senior ranks second in the state and fifth nationally in the 800 with his runner-up finish and season best from the Centennial Invitational (1:52.73) in April. He also ranks fourth in the state in the 400 this year with a season best of 49.44.

'The addition of Ryan continues to meet an important need for us in the middle distances,' Oregon men's head coach Martin Smith said. 'He's already a talented 400-800 runner who could move into the 800-1,500 areas at the collegiate level. He's a gifted athlete, and just as important he's an Oregonian, which is vital to our program's future success.'

Last season he placed in the state 4A championships in the 400 (third, 49.13), and 4x400 (second, 3:23.15), and was a state qualifier in 2000 in the 800 (22nd-prelims, 2:02.96).

Flaherty enters next season as a true freshman and helps ease the graduation of senior Simon Kimata, the Pac-10 800 champion last weekend (1:48.35) and an All-American indoors in the 800 this season (fifth, 1:49.56).



Duck Track & Field Signs Area JC Decathlete Gabe LeMay

May 13, 2002

EUGENE - The University of Oregon men's track and field team announced the addition of Lane Community College student-athlete Gabriel LeMay as its ninth signee for the incoming 2002-03 newcomer class.

The Yoncalla, Ore., native and 1999 Yoncalla High School graduate won the NWAACC conference decathlon title this season, and his best score of 6,832 points ranks fifth all-time in NWAACC history.

'Gabriel adds another key piece,' Oregon men's track and field head coach Martin Smith said. 'He fits into a vital event for us, the decathlon, and his presence softens the loss of Pac-10 champ Billy Pappas who is a senior. He's a great student with a 4.0 GPA, and on the track his versatility will boost us in other areas besides the decathlon. His score would have placed him top six in the Pac-10 this year so he'll help the program immediately.'

The decathlon looms as the team's top event next year, even with the graduation of Pappas. Santiago Lorenzo, the NCAA champ last season, returns for his redshirt senior season, Jason Slye comes back for his redshirt senior season after a fifth-place Pac-10 finish last weekend (6,996), and redshirt sophomore and former prep All-American Doug Sells showed definite league-scoring potential until a January knee injury forced him to miss the 2002 season.

LeMay is currently a redshirt sophomore and biology major at Lane CC with a 4.0 GPA, and has two seasons of eligibility for the Ducks.

'Oregon is obviously a great program as proven by Santiago (Lorenzo) and Billy (Pappas),' LeMay said. 'I've heard good things about Coach (Bill) Lawson, and the university and location itself is a good fit for me. I'm a little hesitant to set a lot of goals for next season, but I think a point total of 7150 or 7200 in the decathlon is reasonable. I'd like to eventually get my pole vault up to 15-6 or more, get in the mid 22-s in long jump, hurdles into the mid-15s, and I'd like to break 11.00 in 100.'

He joins the track program in a roundabout fashion after playing football at Portland State in the fall of 1999. He then moved to Florida with his mother soon after, before returning to the Eugene area last year. He has been training at Lane CC for approximately the past 1 1/2 years.

His current decathlon bests are 100 (11.05), LJ (21-0), SP (43-3), HJ (6-2), 400 (50.3); 110H (16.2), DT (116-9 35.60m), PV (13-7), JT (151-1), 1,500 (4:38.12), while his best marks from open competition are HJ (6-4), 400 (50.14), DT (118-10), PV (14-6), LJ (21-4 3/4).

- www.goducks.com -

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