Six More Men's Track Signees Bump Newcomer Class to 17 Strong --<br>One of Ducks' Biggest Ever.

July 31, 2002

EUGENE - The University of Oregon men's track and field team announced the completion of one of its biggest signing classes ever with the addition of five more prospects, raising the incoming 2002-03 class to 17 newcomers.

A pair of middle distance runners lead the additions that also include a high jumper, hurdler, pole vaulter and sprinter. Three of the recruits are in-state prospects - two of which were Oregon 4A state champions in 2002 - and the other three hail from California (2) and Texas (1).

On the track, middle distance coach Steve Silvey welcomes two more freshmen-to-be in the 800 meters that could add duty in the 4x400 relay. Kyle Sunderland of Etiwanda High School in Fontana, Calif., ran a personal best of 1:52.4 for third place in June's Golden West Invitational, and was fourth in the California state finale (1:54.36). He also ran a 47.7 relay split during the season. Tomas Finol (TOE-mahs fih-NAHL) of Klein High School in Houston Texas took third in the 2002 Texas 5A state championships in a personal best (1:52.59), and also owned a 400 personal best of 48.15 as a senior.

Silvey also welcomes hurdler Samuel Hobbs of Westview High School in Beaverton, Ore. The state 4A champion this season in the 110 hurdles (14.43) and 400 hurdles (38.39), he also placed as a junior in the 300 hurdles (fourth, 39.50). He concluded his prep career in June with sixth-place finishes in the Golden West Invite in the 110 hurdles (14.42) and 300 hurdles (38.93). At the 2002 Oregon-Washington meet, he placed in the 110 hurdles (first, 15.32) and 300 hurdles (fourth, 39.00), and last season in the same meet, took second in the 300 hurdles (39.82) and sixth in the 110 hurdles (15.46).

In the sprints, the Ducks welcome Scott Lamb of Mt. Hood Community College, who was the 2002 Northwest Area Community College champion in the 400 in a personal best of 47.52. He also recorded a 46.4 split on the 4x400 relay.

The field events also add two newcomers. Chad Clason of Bend High School in Bend, Ore., won the 4A state high jump crown as a senior (6-10 1/4) with the state's top mark in 2002. Pole vaulter David Moore of Miramonte High School and a native of Orinda, Calif., was the state champion as a senior (16-6) and tied for second as a junior (then-PR 15-8). He ranked in a tie for seventh nationally in 2002 with his personal best from the state meet, and also placed fourth in the 2002 Golden West Invitational, and fifth in the U.S. Outdoor Junior Championships.

'The addition of these fine young men and athletes round out a great class,' Oregon men's track and field head coach Martin Smith said. 'We've made every effort to add a nucleus that the program can build off in the future. It's a deep group with a great diversity event-wise, and heavy on local talent. I'm proud of how much energy the staff again put into their recruiting, so we can continue to proudly represent the University at the conference and national levels in the future.'

The recent signees join an in-state-heavy signee class that includes eight Oregonians, a ninth in-state prep product, and three other West Coast additions from California (2) and Washington (1). The remaining additions hail from Illinois (2), Texas (2) and Colorado (1). Examining their events, the group features five sprinters, four middle distance runners, three high jumpers, two hurdlers, and one pole vaulter, shot putter, and decathlete.

The arrival of the newcomers will help alleviate the graduation of several talented seniors form last year's Duck squad, including All-Americans Simon Kimata (800), Micah Harris (110 hurdles), Jason Boness (high jump), and Billy Pappas (decathlon), and Pac-10 scorers Ross Krempley (800), Kyley Johnson (high jump), Cody Howell (pole vault), and Rian Ingrim (shot put).

The 2001-02 season marked one of the best ever for the Duck men, who took second in the Pacific-10 Conference Championships for their highest finish since 1996. Individually, they featured a league-best five champions, and three more runners-up. At the national level, six of Oregon's 11 automatic or provisional outdoor qualifiers advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships with two earning All-America nods, and indoors, the Ducks reaped their best-ever NCAA indoor finish (ninth) thanks to a trio of top-five finishers. At season's end, men's head coach Martin Smith was honored as both the Pac-10 and West Regional Coach of the Year.

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