2014 USATF Outdoor Championships day 1 recap: Oregon alum Galen Rupp wins sixth 10k title, 15 Pac-12 athletes and alums advance

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Conference of Champions continued to dominate at the national level at day one of the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships at Hornet Stadium here in Sacramento. Current and former Pac-12 athletes battled to earn spots into the next round of competition, but the day was highlighted by a dominating win in the 10k final by former Oregon Duck Galen Rupp, who took home his sixth title in a row in a tight race with former Stanford standout Chris Derrick. 

Here's a full breakdown of Thursday's action in Sacramento featuring athletes with Pac-12 connections:

Oregon

2012 Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp closed out the day in style by winning his sixth national 10,000m title in a row. Rupp used a strong finishing kick to take the win in 28:12 over Bowerman Track Club’s Chris Derrick. While at Oregon, Rupp rewrote the record books with five NCAA titles. He currently holds the American record in both the 10,000m and the indoor 3,000m. 

Incoming freshman Duck Ashlee Moore opened up Thursday’s competition with a win and personal best of 5,418 points in the junior heptathlon to become the first U.S. qualifier for the World Junior Championships, hosted by TrackTown USA of course.

NCAA 800m champion Laura Roesler made a statement in the final heat of the first round of the women’s 800m with a win in heat four, and the competition was fierce. In a time of 2:01.64, Roesler out-kicked 2014 indoor bronze medalist Molly Beckwith and 2013 World bronze medalist Brenda Martinez.

Two-time NCAA champ and Oregon alum Elijah Greer, who now runs for the Oregon Track Club, left nothing to chance after winning heat one of the first round of the men’s 800m to qualify for the semifinals.

Former Duck A.J. Acosta earned his spot in the final of the men’s 1500m after finishing fourth in heat one in a time of 3:45.07. While in a Duck uniform, Acosta posted one of the most memorable performances in college track history with a nearly impossible triple at the 2010 Pac-10 track championships, finishing fourth in the steeplechase, second in the 1500m, and third in the 5,000m. The 19 points he earned for the Ducks pushed them past USC for the team title that year.

After finishing fourth at the NCAA track championships just a few weeks ago, Greg Skipper competed in the men’s hammer throw for a seventh-place finish overall with a mark of 69.38m.

Phyllis Francis safely made her way into the next round of the women’s 400m after finishing second to Jessica Beard of Adidas, who is a two-time world outdoor 4x400m relay gold medalist. Teammate Mike Berry followed with an automatic qualifier in heat two of the men’s 400m after finishing second to Vernon Norwood of LSU.

Defending U.S. champion and Oregon alum English Gardner took heat four of the women’s 100m to automatically advance to the semifinal round tomorrow. Gardner earned four NCAA titles as a Duck, including back-to-back outdoor 100m titles.

Oregon alum Jordan Hasay, now a Nike Oregon Project athlete, battled back and forth with Olympian Kim Conley in the women’s 10,000m final, but fell to second with 100 meters to go for a runner-up finish in a time of 32:03, just behind Conley’s 32:02.

Arizona

Senior Shapri Romero made her way into the next round of the women’s 400m after finishing fourth in heat two to automatically advance to tomorrow.

Arizona State

NCAA 1500m champion Shelby Houlihan edged her way into the semifinals of the women’s 800m with a fourth-place finish in a wicked fast heat four with a time of 2:01.90, behind NCAA 800m champ Laura Roesler, Saucony’s Molly Beckwith, and World bronze medalist Brenda Martinez.

Former Sun Devil Amy Hastings earned a third-place finish in the women’s 10,000m final in a time of 32:18. Since competing for Arizona State, Hastings has earned a title in the 10k at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and a runner-up finish at the 2011 USA Outdoor Championships.

California

Cal alum and four-time defending national champion Alysia Montano got the attention of the crowd after competing in heat three of the women's 800m while 34 weeks pregnant with her first child. She finished in 2:32 carrying the newest addition to the Montano family.

Colorado

The Buffs definitely know how to produce great steeplechasers. Colorado alum Emma Coburn, now racing for New Balance, continues to show her dominance in the event with an easy win in heat two in a time of 9:39. After finishing fifth at the NCAA outdoor championships, Colorado senior Shalaya Kipp followed her training partner with a qualifying time of 9:44 to advance to the final round.

Stanford

Stanford alum Garrett Heath made his way into the final of the men’s 1500m after finishing third in heat one to advance. Since graduating, the Brooks athlete has been a force on the track, earning a seventh-place finish in the 1500m at the 2010 world indoor championships and more recently, a personal best of 13:16 in the 5,000m at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford.

Former Cardinal Stephanie Dinius earned a seventh-place finish in the final of the women’s 10,000m in a time of 32:56. The New Balance Silicon Valley athlete was a key contributor while at Stanford, earning three All-American honors.

Stanford alum and now Bowerman Track Club athlete Chris Derrick ran a gutsy race to take second in the final of the men’s 10,000m in a time of 28:18 after battling with former Oregon standout Galen Rupp. In a race between the two rivals, Derrick led for a good portion until 500 meters to go when Rupp threw down a hard pace that Derrick couldn’t match. Since graduating from Stanford, Derrick has earned the 2013 USA cross country title and a bronze medal in the 2013 U.S. outdoor 10k. His former Stanford teammates Brendan Gregg and Jake Riley followed in seventh and ninth, respectively.

UCLA

Sophomore Nick Hartle made his debut at the USATF outdoor championships by just barely edging his way into the semifinal of the men’s 800m with a sixth-place finish in heat one to qualify based on his time of 1:47.98.

USC

2013 USA outdoor champion and USC alum Duane Solomon ran the fastest time of the day to win his heat and automatically advance to the semifinal of the men’s 800m. While at USC, Solomon snagged a third-place finish at the 2008 NCAA outdoor finals and a bronze medal at 2007 USA outdoors.

After an emergency appendectomy earlier in the season, Remy Conatser completed his career as a Trojan with a 12th-place finish in the men’s hammer throw today. He missed NCAAs this season because of the surgery, but Conatser earned All-American honors last year with a runner-up finish and eighth-farthest throw ever by a Trojan.

2012 Olympic Games 4x400m silver medalist and USC alum Josh Mance earned his spot in the next round of the men’s 400m after finishing second in heat three behind Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt.

Utah

In her first ever USATF outdoor championships performance, Rosalie Waller represented well for the Utes with a third-place finish and automatic qualifier to the semifinals out of heat three of the women's 800m.

For full results of the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships visit USATF.org.

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