Track Teams Claim One Win & Three Runner-up Finishes in first day of Pac-10 Champs.

May 17, 2003

LOS ANGELES - The University of Oregon men's and women's track and field teams opened action in the 73rd and 17th editions of the Pacific-10 Conference Championships, held Saturday at USC's Katherine A. Loker Stadium.

The Duck men currently lead after Saturday's six event finals with 59 points, ahead of UCLA (second, 52), Stanford (third, 47), Washington State (fourth, 27), USC (fifth, 26), Arizona State (sixth, 20), Washington (seventh, 18), California (eighth, 16) and Arizona (ninth, 8). The Oregon women stand in seventh place (23 points), while Stanford leads after seven event finals Saturday with 65 points. The rest of the women's standings include Arizona State (second, 46), UCLA (third, 45), Washington State (fourth, 39), USC (fifth, 38), Washington (sixth, 32), Oregon (seventh, 23), Arizona (eighth, 16) and California (ninth, 8).

Individually, the Duck men claimed Oregon's lone win of the day thanks to javelin thrower Adam Jenkins (217-9). The two teams also combined for three runner-up finishes (Roslyn Lundeen, javelin, 159-8; Brett Holts, steeplechase, 8:55.00; Jason Hartmann, 5K, 29:18.00), and another third-place effort (John Stiegeler, javelin, 212-0),

On the men's side, the field and distance events propelled the Ducks atop the team leader board after the first day's six event finals, with the javelin throwers leading the way. Top seed and junior Adam Jenkins claimed the Ducks' third straight Pac-10 victory in the event with his third-best mark of the season (217-9). Senior and 2001 league victor John Stiegeler continued his return from a knee injury from 2002 to finish third Saturday (212-0) and help give the team 16 points in the event.

'I had two goals coming in,' Jenkins said. 'The first was to win and get the points for the team, so I have to be happy overall. I was also trying to get my first 70.00 meter mark (229-8), and that didn't happen, so that leaves something to shoot for at Regionals. I was a little nervous coming in, so I made a point of cheering between my throws for teammates in other events. That helped keep me loose and not feel so stressed. My first throw was only 197 feet on a half-approach, so coach was worried that I might not make the event final for the third straight year. I came back with a faster and longer approach and hit a good qualifier of 210 feet on the second try, then improved again on my last throw. Early on I felt slower on my approach and could feel the javelin getting in front of my body, but when I added the extra steps and speed I felt more in control.'

In the pole vault, junior Trevor Woods, posted his third straight top-five league finish (fifth, 16-10 3/4), and redshirt senior Jason Slye came away with his third straight scoring honor (eighth, 16-6 3/4). Senior Santiago Lorenzo missed scoring in the long jump by only 3/4 inches and took ninth (23-6) with an outdoor season best after entering the meet ranked 11th at the end of the regular season.

The Duck sprint crew did their part in Saturday's prelims, advancing runners to the finals of the 100, 200, 400, 4x100 relay and both hurdles races.

Senior Samie Parker and freshman Jordan Kent advanced to the finals of the 100 with season bests in their heats. Moving up to second all-time for the Ducks behind Don Coleman (10.11), Parker clocked the day's fastest qualifier (10.18, w:+0.9). Kent added his first regional qualifying mark of his career in the 100 (third-heat/fifth overall, 10.46) and met the standard (10.50) by .04 seconds. Kent returned in the 200 to finish second in his heat and fourth of the 10 entries overall (21.27) to also advance to Sunday's final.

In the 400, freshman Matt Scherer advanced to the final (third-heat, season 47.09), while fellow frosh Travis Anderson missed by one place (fourth/heat, ninth overall, 47.49). Scherer's time was a season best by a half-second, and Anderson's mark was a .05-second season best and just shy of his 47.09 personal best. In the 4x100, Oregon advanced to the final with the sixth-best time overall (40.64), claimed a .32-second season best, and met the Regional qualifying mark (40.70) for the first time in 2003.

Freshman 110 hurdler Eric Mitchum continued to impress in his debut campaign and climbed to second all-time for the Ducks with Saturday's second-fastest time (13.75, w:+1.1) - a .17-second personal best - to win the second heat. In the same event, senior Terry Ellis looks forward to his fourth appearance in the Pac-10 finale in front of his hometown friends and family, and ranked fifth of the 14 preliminary entrants with a personal best (13.93, w: +1.1). His mark still leaves him fifth all-time for Oregon and was .11 seconds better than his previous best from his sophomore season in 2001. In the 400 hurdles, senior Santiago Lorenzo advanced to his third Pac-10 final in the event (sixth overall/second-heat, 52.64) and was just shy of his season best (52.26). Mitchum just missed another invite in the 400 hurdles and ranked ninth overall (third-heat, 52.60) - .16 seconds shy of the last qualifying spot. In the same heat as Lorenzo, junior Brandon Holliday, last year's Pac-10 champ, hit and fell on a late hurdle, and still got up to rank 17th overall (56.29).

In the two distance event finals, the Ducks captured a pair of runner-up nods thanks to steeplechaser and redshirt sophomore Brett Holts (8:55.0) and redshirt junior and 10K runner Jason Hartmann (29:18.000). Holts moved up a position to second place in the last two laps then held on to the tape, while the returning Pac-10 25-lap runner-up Hartmann held his position for much of the last mile as the rest of the field fell off the pace - a group that included redshirt junior Ryan Andrus who scored in his league debut (sixth, 30:01.85).

'The goal coming in was to put some points on the board,' Hartmann said. 'This is a championship meet and you compete for the team. I might have had a chance at the championship but it slipped through my fingers and Louis (Luchini, Stanford's champion) ran a strong race. There wasn't anything today I could have done differently to change the outcome. Overall, it was a good, tactical race.'

In qualifying action in the 800, freshman Ryan Flaherty successfully navigated his first Pac-10 appearance and ranked fourth overall (1:52.10). The Bend, Ore., native led much of the first lap, then held on to a qualifying bid with a strong final kick. In the 1,500, redshirt freshman decathlete Andy Young ranked 18th in the overall results, and was rewarded with a nine-second personal best (4:13.83).

'We're done well so far,' Oregon men's head coach Martin Smith said. 'Besides Brandon's misfortune in the 400 hurdles, we put ourselves in contention on the track for a good day Sunday. Every team lost some points here and there that they would like to have back. We came in wanting to have a good, competitive effort, then see what the points were once the day was over. To have 59 points means a solid first day. We showed well in the few event finals today - especially the 10K and javelin - what's more important is how we compete Sunday.'

Breaking down the Duck women's performances, senior Janette Davis paced the sprints and ranked eighth in the 400 prelims (third-heat, 53.90) and earned her second invite to the Pac-10 final. The Medford, Ore., native clocked her second-fastest time of her career, and was only .03 seconds shy of her personal best. Fellow senior Heather Murtaugh was the Ducks' lone participant in the prelims of the 100 (17th overall/fifth heat, 12.12) and 200 (13th overall/fourth-heat, 24.68) but did not advance to Sunday's event finals. In the 400 hurdles, sophomore Kayla Mellott missed advancing to the final by .49 seconds (10th overall, fifth-heat, 61.76) and was only .46 seconds shy of her personal best. In the first heat of the same event, redshirt junior Abby Andrus tripped and fell over a hurdle midway through the race, but still got up to finish and stood 11th overall (fifth-heat, 62.22).

In the middle distances, the Ducks qualified two for Sunday's 1,500 final and another in the 800. Senior Carrie Zografos (11th overall, 4:32.18) and redshirt sophomore (12th overall, 4:33.84) grabbed the final two time-based qualifying spots in the metric mile, and redshirt junior Erinn Gulbrandsen missed advancing by less than two seconds but still clocked a three-second personal best (14th overall, 4:35.70). In the 800, senior Eri Macdonald qualified for her fourth Pac-10 appearance in the event final (2:08.21) with the day's fourth-fastest time.

In the first of Saurday's two distance finals, senior steeplechaser Alicia Snyder-Carlson missed scoring by one place and less than 11 seconds (ninth, 11:10.15) and clocked the third-fastest time of her career. In the evening finale, Duck redshirt sophomore Magdalena Sandoval (10th, 36:30.65) and freshman Nicole Feest (14th, 37:15.47) made their 10K debuts.

In the field, senior high jumper Jenny Brogdon claimed her second league scoring honor (eighth, 5-7) and cleared her season best mark for the sixth time this outdoor season (and seventh counting indoors). Senior long jumper Amanda Brown leaped her second-best jump of the year (10th, 19-1 1/4w, w:+2.6) and was two inches away from her third scoring honor in her fourth Pac-10 trip in the event.

On the javelin runway, sophomore All-American Roslyn Lundeen improved on her fourth-place ranking with runner-up honors (159-8) thanks to a 1 foot-five inch season best. The Victoria, B.C. native led much of the event before the top-seeded Inga Stasiulionyte of USC took the lead on her fifth and best throw (168-11). Fellow Duck sophomore and All-American Elisa Crumley added her second straight top-six Pac-10 finish (sixth, 154-7) and was only three feet, four inches shy of her season best.

'I got second, but it's a little weird because I threw more than a meter farther last year but still finished two places higher,' Lundeen said. 'But to get second is the important thing, and I can feel things starting to come together with my form. Once I started picking up my speed on my approach things started to click more. Others weren't as happy with the conditions today, but I thought they were fine - usually I'm OK as long as there's a runway. '

In other throws action, senior Mary Etter claimed her second and highest Pac-10 shot put scoring honor (sixth, 48-2), thanks to her fourth meet past the 48-foot line in 2003. The Everett, Wash., native also finished two spots higher Saturday then her pre-meet seeding. In the hammer, senior Jordan Sauvage claimed her highest league finish (seventh, 176-6) and notched her second straight scoring honor in the event.

Saturday's complete first-day results are available at USC's www.USCtrojans.com website.

Looking ahead to Sunday, the Duck men and women return for the remainder of the two-day meet. The first field event is the men's hammer, scheduled for a 9 am start at West LA College; the first running event is the 4x100 relay at 1 pm; and the final event, the 4x400 relay, starts at 5:20 pm.

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