Pappas Named Pac-10 Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Week

May 13, 2002

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - A day after winning Oregon's ninth conference decathlon title, University of Oregon redshirt senior and All-American Billy Pappas was named the Pac-10 Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Week Monday.

The Azalea, Ore., native posted a personal best and league season best of 7,532 points with his 278-point victory over USC's Russell Silvers (second, 7,254), and his score also stood as the first NCAA automatic qualifying mark of his career. Pappas posted the best mark in the field in four of 10 events, while his final score was a new personal by 44 points, and a season best by 221 points from his season debut from the Mt. SAC Relays (7,311w).

Among his 10, two-day marks last weekend, he record personal bests in the 400 (51.04), pole vault (15-5) and javelin (195-11), and a season best in the long jump (23-0 3/4). In prior Pac-10 decathlons, the Azalea, Ore., native claimed third in 2001 (then-PR, 7,342) and fourth in 2000 (then-PR, 7,184).

His effort ranked even more impressive considering he had been training for barely two months after a vertebrae stress fracture kept him off the track February and most of March. All-time for the Ducks, he ranks ninth in the Oregon record books.

Last year he ended the collegiate season with an eighth-place finish and personal best of 7,488 points in the NCAA Championships in Eugene after entering the competition seeded 16th based on his prior season best and Pac-10 tally.

This upcoming weekend, he'll return for duty in the Pac-10 Championships 110 hurdles, and could also compete as the Ducks' right of entry selection in the long jump after taking eighth in the league long jump last season (21-10 1/4).

On the women's side, last weekend's conference heptathlon champ Ellannee Richardson won the weekly women's honor after scoring a national-leading mark of 5,821 points.

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