Nye Advances to Final of USA Women's Steeplechase

June 21, 2001

EUGENE - EUGENE - Former University of Oregon distance runner Lisa (Karnopp) Nye led first-day highlights for the Ducks at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Thursday at Hayward Field.

Nye finished second in the first of three preliminary heats of the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:18.95), finishing just behind Weber State's Rebecca Bennion (10:14.34). Another former Duck, Jill (Callero) Mestler, finished 13th in the third heat (11:23.96) and ranked 39th overall among the 44 entrants.

Other women's steeplechase heat winners included Arizona State's Kelly MacDonald (10:16.48) and N.C. State's Katie Sabino (10:30.01). The top three finishers from each heat and the next fastest five time qualifiers advanced Saturday's 14-entrant final.

On the men's side, Dan Steele withdrew from the decathlon after a slight hamstring injury. The Duck men's assistant coach posted marks of 10.67 in the 100, 21-4 3/4 (6.52 meters) in the long jump, and 47-0 3/4 (14.34 meters) in the shot put, and stood sixth overall at that point with 2,386 points. Steele also retired Thursday partly so he wouldn't jeopardize his health or training as a pusher on a top bobsled team for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The decathlon first day leader was Tom Pappas of adidas (4,472), followed by Azusa Pacific's Bryan Clay (second, 4,259) and unattached entrant Trafton Rdogers (4,418). Pappas may not compete in all 10 events, however, due to an injury which has limited his training this season.

Also competing Thursday, Eugene transplant and former Cal thrower Travis Nutter finished sixth overall in the hammer (232-3, 70.80m). Kevin McMahon of the New York Athletic Club won the competition (251-0, 76.52m), ahead of Jay Harvard (240-1, 73.17m), and Utah State's James Parker (237-10, 72.50m).

Looking ahead to Friday, Duck junior Jason Boness competes in the high jump, and a pair of former Ducks, Olympian Nick Rogers and Christie (Engesser) Cesar compete in the men's 5,000 and women's 800. Area post-collegians Ray Hughes and Rick Mestler are entered in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, as is Nolan Swanson in the men's 5,000 meters.

Full results from each can be found at USA Track and Field's web site at www.usatf.org.

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