Slye and Andrus Earn Pac-10 and NCAA Prov. Nods, Respectively in Oregon Invite Dec & Hep

April 25, 2003

EUGENE - In second and final day action in the Oregon Invitational combined events, junior Abby Andrus and senior Jason Slye met their respective pre-meet goals of NCAA provisional and Pac-10 qualifying marks and came with runner-up finishes in the heptathlon (5,152) and decathlon (6,851).

On the women's side, Andrus capitalized on two personal bests Friday to claim her first NCAA provisional mark of her career. The Peoria, Ariz., native opened the day with a long jump best of 17-9 3/4 sandwiched between fouls on her first and third attempts. Later in the afternoon, she logged a four-foot javelin best (118-4) and a four-second best to win the 800 (2:14.42).

'It was a roller coaster two days,' Andrus said. 'I started off great yesterday, had an awful middle, then came around at the end. I was a little stressed going into today because I knew I still had a shot at 5,000 points. But then the long jump didn't go as well, so I started to think it was out of reach, which in a way relaxed me. The javelin surprised me since that hadn't been going very well in practice. On that one I didn't let the tip get away from my head as much, and it felt a lot better. In the 800 it was great having all my teammates around. I could hear them yelling the whole way, and I love competing here so much.'

Andrus' final score stood as a 189-point improvement on her personal best and Duck debut in the California Multi-Events (4,963) in March in Davis., Calif. Friday's final tally also easily eclipsed the NCAA provisional mark of 5,000 points and her score would tie her for 12th nationally based on this week's collegiate season best list.

All-time for the Ducks, she climbed two spots to sixth all-time Friday, passing Kamala Kohlmeier (5,100) and Katie O'Brien (4,990), and is just shy of 2002 Duck graduate and fifth-place Jenny Kenyon who tallied her best of 5,169 in last year's Pac-10 finale and placed fifth.

Andrus will return for her third heptathlon of 2003 in two weekends in the Pac-10 Championships combined events, hosted by USC, Sat.-Sun., May 10-11. 'I'm definitely looking forward to the next one,' Andrus said. 'There's room for definite improvement in all the events, so it'll be fun to try and do it there when it really matters.'

Overall in Thursday's and Friday's heptathlon, Idaho's Angela Whyte edged Andrus for the win with 5,290 points. The Vandal opened Friday with a win in the long jump (18-5 1/4) - her third victory among the seven events after opening day triumphs in the 100 hurdles (13.21) and 200 (24.55). On Friday, Whyte also threw the javelin 114 feet, 7 inches, and clocked 2:24.80 in the 800.

Eight of the event's 10 initial entrants finished all seven events - including former Duck Jenny Kenyon of Team XO (third, 4,867), Idaho's Dacia Fernandez (fourth, 4,842), and Eastern Washington's Wiyanna Kramer (fifth, 4,566) and Christi Kight (sixth, 4,490). First-day leader Tracye Laywer of the Bronco Track Club dropped out after long-jumping 18-2 1/2 (second-best on the day), and led after five events with a score of 4,130 points (and a first-day total of 3,415 points).

On the men's side, redshirt senior Jason Slye added runner-up honors for the Ducks in the decathlon with his second-highest 10-event tally ever (second overall, 6,851) and was edged by former Duck All-American Billy Pappas of Team XO (first, 7,390).

Already a two-time Pac-10 veteran, the Keizer, Ore., native Slye earned another league invite by breaking the 6,800-point barrier and claimed marks Friday of 15.43 in the 110 hurdles, 116-6 in the discus, 14-11 in the pole vault, 152-7 in the javelin and 4:51.98 in the 1,500.

With his fourth career decathlon Thursday and Friday, Slye's only better career mark came in the 2002 Pac-10 finale as he took fifth with 6,996 points and was one of three Ducks in the top nine - even without former Pac-10 and NCAA champion Santiago Lorenzo who redshirted the campaign with an injury. Slye also took ninth in his Pac-10 decathlon debut as a sophomore in 2001 (6,631), and made his debut earlier in the year in the ASU Invite (6,677).

Pappas led Friday's field in two events - the 110 hurdles (14.67) and javelin (185-4) - and also claimed marks of 133-3 in the discus, 14-7 1/4 in the pole vault and 4:53.36 in the 1,500.

Overall, seven of the nine initial starters finished Friday, including unattached entrant Brian Bernard (third, 6,393), Montana State's Brad Benjamin (fourth, 6,128), Prefontaine Track Club's Ben Looney (fifth, 6,014), and Idaho's Marcus Luckstead and Dustin Erickson who tied for sixth (5,751).

Looking ahead to the main portion of the Oregon Invitational Saturday, the morning session runs from 10 am to 2:15 pm and admission is free to the public for the morning section.

Saturday's twilight session follows with the first field event at 3 pm, and running events held from 4:45-8:15 pm in the evening, and tickets are required for spectators. Families can take advantage of a Bi-Mart Family Special where two parents and unlimited kids can attend for $10 when they show a Bi-Mart card at the door. Tickets for Saturday afternoon's 2 pm home softball game vs. No. 9 ASU are also valid for the track meet (and vice versa).More ticket information is available by calling 1-800-WEB-FOOT or (541) 346-4461 locally.


FINAL RESULTS

Oregon Invitational Heptathlon Decathlon Second-Day Scores
Hayward Field - University of Oregon
Eugene, Ore.
Friday, April 25, 2003

Heptathlon - 1, Angela Whyte, Idaho, 5,290. 2, Abby Andrus, Oregon, 5,152. 3, Jenny Kenyon, Team XO, 4,867. 4, Dacia Fernandez, 4,842. 5, Wiyanna Kramer, Eastern Washington, 4,566. 6, Christi Kight, Eastern Washington, 4,490.

Decathlon - 1, Billy Pappas, Team XO, 7,390. 2, Jason Slye, Oregon, 6,851. 3, Brian Bernard, Unat., 6,393. 4, Brad Benjamin, Montana State, 6,128. 5, Ben Looney, Prefontaine TC, 6,014. 6, Marucs Luckstead, Idaho, 5,751. 6, Dustin Erickson, Idaho, 5,751.

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