Harris & Pappas Wrap Up NCAA Track Action

June 1, 2002

BATON ROUGE, La. - Seniors Micah Harris and Billy Pappas led the University of Oregon men's track and field team in final day action in the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Bernie Moore Track Stadium at Louisiana State University.

Team-wise, the Duck men and women finished 35th and 27th overall with scores of seven and nine points, respectively. Although the five-woman Duck contingent had no competitors Saturday, their previous three-day output marked their highest finish since 1995's 24th-place effort (and 10 points), and featured four All-Americans among their five entries. The seven-man Duck men's contingent claimed two All-America efforts.

Overall in the team races, host LSU won its third men's team title with 64 points, edging Tennessee (second, 57) and SMU (third, 42). On the women's side, South Carolina won its first ever NCAA outdoor title with 82 points, holding off UCLA (second, 72) and USC (third, 57).

Individually for the Oregon men Saturday, senior Micah Harris finished his Duck career with his first All-America award, thanks to a seventh-place finish in the nine-man 110 hurdles final (13.78, -1.1 mps wind).

'I got out good, but so did everyone,' Harris said, 'and I just maintained from there, clawing and scratching for everything I had to the end. I felt relaxed coming in, and everything went pretty well technique-wise. I would have loved to finish higher, but these guys showed how good they were.'

The Tempe, Ariz., native and graduate of Corona del Sol High School and Central Arizona JC captured the Ducks' first All-America honor in the event since Bob Gray claimed sixth in 1992 (13.95). He entered the meet seeded in a tie for ninth with his season best of 13.67.

'It's great to be an All-American,' Harris said, 'and bottom line, that was what I was here for. Making it through the finals and building towards this is a big achievement, and now presents new challenges since I'm graduating. The USA is so great in this event, that there's always great talent, and the work only continues.'

Overall in the event, top seed Ron Bramlett of Alabama won by a .04-second margin (31.49), over Todd Matthews of Clemson (second, 13.53) and Chris Pinnock of Texas A&M (third, 13.57).

All-time for the Ducks, Harris owns the school record with his personal best from this season's Mt. SAC Relays (13.67), one of nine sub-14.00 clockings in 12 races this season. At the conference level he was the Pac-10 runner-up in both 2001 and 2002. Last year he initially captured the Duck school record with a then-best of 13.73 in the prelims of the NCAA Champs in Eugene.

Looking ahead, Harris still has one meet remaining for the Ducks as a qualifier for the USA Outdoor Championships, June 21-23 in Stanford, Calif. The event qualifying standard is 13.82 seconds and the field will have at least 32 entries and three rounds, including the final.

'I haven't achieved everything I've wanted to quite yet,' Harris said, 'so I guess that'll keep my hungry. I can't wait to meet these guys again at Stanford. I'll give it a few more weeks of hard training and give it everything I have.'

In the final day of the decathlon, redshirt senior Billy Pappas missed his personal best by only 18 points with his 11th-place score of 7,514 points, and posted a second-day score of 3,650 points.

'I didn't have as good a day as I would have liked, but it wasn't from a lack of effort,' Pappas said. 'The level of competition was incredible, and it wasn't an easy day for me, and I know I gave it my all.'

His Saturday marks included 14.86 in the 110 hurdles (+0.3 wind), 133-0 in the discus, 15-3 in the pole vault, 181-8 in the discus and 4:47.29 in the 1,500. Even more impressive, Pappas ended an injury-shortened two-month period crammed with three decathlons and all his pre-NCAA training. He had missed virtually all of February and March with a stress fracture in his lower vertebrae.

In the final standings, Pappas held on to his first-day placing -- 11th -- and was likely one position shy of All-America honors. However, the 10th seed entering the meet averted disaster in the pole vault Saturday, converting a third-attempt try at his opening height of 13-11 1/4.

'The pole vault ended up being the critical point,' Pappas said. 'Once I got over on that third try, I got my focus. The pole vault drained me and I was hanging on in the javelin. In the 1,500 I went out conservative since I was so tired and knew others were, too. I didn't pass as many guys as I wanted, but it was one my best 1,500's considering the circumstances.'

In the event's first half action Friday, he posted a .01-second personal best of 11.15 in the 100 (+2.9w), another best in the long jump of 23-9, 44-11 1/2 in the shot put, 6-2 in the high jump, and 51.20 in the 400.

Overall in the competition, LSU's Claston Bernard sealed the team win for the host LSU Tigers, claiming the decathlon by a 53-point margin (first, 8,094) over Michigan State's Paul Terek (second, 8,041) and David Lemen of Georgia (third, 7,972).

Last season, Pappas claimed his first All-America honor with an eighth-place finish in the collegiate finale in Eugene at Hayward Field, thanks to a then personal-best of 7,488 points.

'I was proud of last year's performance at NCAA's because I was an All-American,' Pappas said, 'but considering the circumstances I can't be too upset about this year. The competition was great, and I gave it my all. However, the thing I've been most proud of is being able to compete in all these big meets in front of my family. They have a special support for us and this event, and I owe everything to them and God.'

In his career, Pappas ends as Oregon's ninth-ranked decathlete all-time (7,532) with his personal best from his Pac-10 Champs victory earlier in May. He was a Pac-10 scorer in the decathlon in 2001 (third, then-PR 7,488) and 2000 (fourth, 7,184), and in the long jump in 2001 (eighth) and 2002 (seventh), This season he led the Ducks in the decathlon (7,532) and long jump (23-9w), and ranked third in the 110 hurdles (14.70w).

'I've progressed a lot in my three years as a Duck, and wish I was healthier this year and could have trained with more consistency,' Pappas said. 'I ran a PR in the 400 this year almost solely off my physical maturity since I've had no speed training. It also shows how much left there is in the 100, 400 and 110 hurdles.

His effort marked yet another strong effort from the Duck decathlon group in its third year under the tutelage of assistant coach Bill Lawson. Redshirt athlete Santiago Lorenzo won the NCAA title last season (7,889) and was an All-American in 2000 (fifth, 7,543), and Pappas added honors last season (eighth, 7,532).

'I owe so much to Bill Lawson and all of the Oregon coaches,' Pappas said. 'I've never seen coaches that work just as hard as the athletes, and they've built a foundation for a great future. I'm so happy that I decided to come here, and working with Bill has been an awesome experience. He's a great friend and coach,'

Looking back over the four days of Duck action, the Oregon men's entry list also featured All-American and redshirt sophomore Jason Hartmann (10K, fourth, 29:28.80), senior Simon Kimata (800, fourth-semifinal, 1:48.17), and sophomores Trevor Woods (pole vault, ninth, 17-4 1/2), Adam Kriz (hammer, 14th, 200-7), and Nick Bakke (javelin, 18thk, 211-1).

On the women's side, the Ducks featured two javelin All-Americans, frosh Roslyn Lundeen (seventh, 165-4) and Elisa Crumley (12th, 157-4), and a third entrant, sophomore Sarah Malone (14th, 155-4), and another pair of All-Americans in juniors Becky Holliday (pole vault, third, 13-5 1/4) and Mary Etter (discus, eighth, 173-2).

Full results are available at the www.lsusports.com and www.ncaachampionships.com web sites.

Looking ahead several weeks in June, the Duck men and women will send various qualifiers to the U.S. Junior and USA (Senior) Championships, both in Stanford, Calif., the weekend of Friday-Sunday, June 21-23.


NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
Bernie Moore Track Stadium
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, La.
Saturday, June 1, 2002

Men's Team Scores - 1, LSU, 64. 2, Tennessee, 57. 3, SMU, 42. 4, Florida, 32. 4, Clemson, 32. 6, South Carolina, 30. 7, Arkansas, 28. 8, Stanford, 26. 9, Texas, 23. 9, Colorado, 23. 11, Alabama, 21. 11, Auburn, 21. 11, USC, 21. 11, Georgia, 21. 15, UTEP, 20. 15, Mississippi, Staet, 20., 17, Idaho, 17. 18, Baylor, 16. 19, Eastern Michigan, 14. 19, Nebraska, 14. 35t, Oregon, 7.

Women's Team Scores - 1, South Carolina, 82. 2, UCLA, 72. 3, USC, 57. 4, LSU, 43. 5, Kansas State, 30. 6, Florida, 29. 7, Stanford, 25. 8, North Carolina, 22. 9, Nebraska, 21. 10, Illinois 19. 10, Texas, 19. 10, BYU, 19. 13, N.C. State, 18. 14, Auburn, 17. 15, Washington State, 16. 15, Liberty, 16. 17, Arizona, 15. 17, Colorado, 15. 19, Iowa State, 12 1/2. 20, Clemson, 12. 27t, Oregon, 9.

Men's 110 Hurdles - 1, Ron Bramlett, Alabama, 13.49. 2, Todd Matthews, Clemson, 13.53. 3, Chris Pinnock, Texas A&M, 13.57. 4, Jermaine Cooper, Texas, 13.59. 5, Antwon Hicks, Mississippi, 13.64. 6, Ryan Wilson, USC, 13.70. 7, Micah Harris, Oregon, 13.78. 8, Lewis Edmonson, Prairie View A&M. 9, Derek Zachary, Nebraska, 13.98.

Men's Decathlon - 1, Claston Bernard, LSU, 8,094. 2, Paul Terek, Michigan State, 8,041. 3, David Lemen, Georgia, 7,972. 4, Stephen Harris, Tennessee, 7,955. 5, Ryan Harlan, Rice, 7,945. 6, Adam Bork, Montana, 7,699. 7, Justin Youngblood, Texas-San Antonio, 7,642. 8, Will Thomas, Connecticut, 7,630. 9, Kevin Thompson, 7,598. 10, Bryan Anderson, Montana, 7,592. 11, Billy Pappas, Oregon, 7,514. 12, Josef Karas, Kansas State, 7,306. 13, Knut Sommerfeldt, Missouri, 7,252. 14, Ashraf Fadel, Wisconsin, 6,946. 15, Jake Boone, Texas A&M, 6,309.

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