Track Teams Make Last Run After NCAA Qualifying Marks
March 7, 2003
EUGENE - The University of Oregon track and field teams make a final run this weekend after qualifying marks for the upcoming NCAA indoor Championships, March 14-15, in Fayetteville, Ark.
On Sat., March 8, Oregon will enter a quartet of M&W athletes in the Washington Qualifier in the Dempsey Indoor Complex, and the men will also send one athlete the same day to the Bronco NCAA Qualifier, in Boise, Idaho.
This Weekend's Meet Info
Meet: Washington Qualifier (Olszowy, Andrus, Paulson, Riley)
Meet: Bronco NCAA Qualifier (Mitchum)
National Collegiate Rankings
Event UO Women Rank 2003 Best PRPV Becky Holliday 2nd 14-1 3/4 14-1 3/4 Niki McEwen 3rd 14-1 1/4 14-1 1/4 Kirsten Riley 18th 13-1 3/4 13-1 3/4
* Rankings from www.ncaachampionships.com
Freshman middle distance runner Jan Olszowy, who clocked 1:50.40 in the 800 last Saturday in the Pac-10 Invitational, was only .20 seconds shy of the NCAA provisional list. Looking at this year's qualifying list, he will likely have to run a time of 1:49.00 or faster to make the 18-man NCAA invite list.
In the 3,000 meters, the Duck men will also enter All-America junior and NCAA provisional qualifier Ryan Andrus (5K, 14:06.33) and redshirt sophomore Noel Paulson, a provisional qualifier in the mile last winter (4:04.31) and a two-time NCAA cross country veteran.
The lone entry from the women's squad is junior pole vaulter Kirsten Riley, who currently sits 18th on the NCAA provisional list with her 13-1 1/4 personal best from last weekend in Seattle. The NCAA automatic mark is 13-5 1/4, a height already cleared this season by Duck seniors and All-Americans Becky Holliday and Niki McEwen, ranked second and third among the collegiate ranks, respectively, this season.
Freshman 60-meter hurdler Eric Mitchum will head east to Boise, Idaho looking to improve his personal best mark of 7.87 seconds that he posted last weekend. That personal best met the NCAA provisional standard of 7.95 but was not permissible for NCAA qualifying since the prelims and finals didn't have the proper number of competitors. The Calumet City, Ill. native stands currently 33rd nationally, and will most likely need to run at least 7.80 seconds to move into the top-16 and earn an invite for the NCAA Championships.
Last weekend, in the men's final competition as a full squad, they recorded three wins, nine personal or seasonal bests, and one Pac-10 outdoor qualifying mark. Mitchum led the way with his 60-meter hurdle win (7.87), and Olszowy added another victory in the 800 (1:50.40) that qualified him for the conference outdoor finale in the 800. The Ducks again showcased their young talent in the 400-meter and 800-meter races as four other freshmen ran seasonal bests. Following Olszowy in the 800 were Ryan Flaherty (fifth, 1:52.90) and Tomas Finol (sixth, 1:53.26), and Travis Anderson (fourth, 47.98) and Matthew Scherer (sixth, 48.07) competed in the 400. All-American sprinter Samie Parker stood as the third Duck winner, as he claimed the tape in the 60-meter dash (6.71), and just .03 seconds off his NCAA provisional season debut of 6.68 seconds from February's Bodybuilding.com Invitational. In the field, redshirt senior Jason Slye added another season best in the pole vault (third, 16-10 3/4) and 2001 NCAA decathlon champion Santiago Lorenzo made his season debut in the long jump (fifth, 22-9 1/4).
Last weekend, the Duck women sent four vaulters with the men's squad, while the rest of the team opened up their outdoor campaign in Salem in the 6-way Meet at Willamette University. In Seattle, All-American Nike McEwen picked up another win (13-9 1/4), and Kirsten Riley moved up the NCAA provisional list (third, 13-1 3/4). In their outdoor opener, the Duck women captured 12 events, four personal bests, two Pac-10 qualifying marks, and one NCAA regional qualifying mark. Junior transfer Abby Andrus picked up a regional and Pac-10 invite in the 400-meter hurdles (60.24). Senior Eri Macdonald added the other league invite in the 1,500 (first, 4:37.66). Senior Heather Murtaugh springboarded off her indoor success and won the 400 (PR 58.09). Senior Janette Davis stepped up to win the 800 (2:12.17). All-America thrower Mary Etter made her season debut, and came away with wins in the shot put (44-6 3/4), discus (160-5) and hammer (PR 167-5). Rachael Kriz, competing unattached, won the javelin (129-7). Other Duck winners included Amanda Brown (100, 12.74), Meagan Traver (triple jump, 36-5 1/2), and the 4x400 relay quartet of Eri Macdonald, Kayla Mellott, Alicia Snyder-Carlson, and Emily Marsh.
Looking ahead, select Ducks will travel to the NCAA Track and Field Indoor Championships, Friday-Saturday, March 14-15 at the Randal Tyson Track Center, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Both squads then return home for their outdoor home opener, the Oregon Preview, Sat., March 22.
Breaking down the women's squad, 27th-year head coach Tom Heinonen looks to springboard the Ducks off of a strong 2002 season - one of their finest in recent memory. The Ducks capped the NCAA outdoor season with four All-America honors (Becky Holliday, pole vault, third; Roslyn Lundeen, javelin, seventh; Mary Etter, discus, eighth; Elisa Crumley javelin, 12th) among their five entries, and scored their highest team finish - 27th with nine points - since 1995. Indoors, the Duck women sent a pair of pole vaulters to the NCAA showdown as Becky Holliday earned All-America reviews for her seventh-place finish and Niki Reed also finished top-10 (10th).
In the 2002 conference championships, the women were only three points away from doubling their score from the year before and finished sixth (67 points). Individually, the 24-person Oregon contingent featured three runners-up (Sarah Malone, javelin; Jenny Brogdon, high jump; Becky Holliday, pole vault) among its 13 scorers in 12 events. In the year-end USTCA Power Rankings, Oregon weighed in at 12th overall and second among league members, and ended its dual slate with a 3-0 record with wins over Montana, Washington and Weber State. On the Pac-10 All-Academic charts, Oregon sported one first-team honoree (Jenny Kenyon) and two second-team selections (Eri Macdonald, Kirsten Riley), and a Verizon Second-Team Academic All-American (Kenyon).
Sizing up the Duck men, a pair of NCAA champions from 2001 return for their final seasons (Santiago Lorenzo, decathlon; John Stiegeler, javelin), and three other All-Americans also return from last year (Samie Parker - 60 indoors 2002; Jason Hartmann - 10,000 - 2001, '02; Trevor Woods - pole vault indoors - 2002). As a unit, the Duck men posted their highest ever NCAA indoor finish (ninth, 15 points) last March and featured three All-America performances among their four qualifiers (Trevor Woods, pole vault, third; Samie Parker, 60, fourth; Simon Kimata, 800 fifth). Outdoors in the collegiate finale, the UO sent seven men - their most since 1996 (8) - and finished 35th as a team with seven points and featured two All-Americans (Jason Hartmann, 10,000, fourth; Micah Harris, 110 hurdles, seventh)) and two other top-12 finishers.
At the Pac-10 level in 2002, the Men of Oregon claimed a league-best five individual titles and three more runner-up honors en route to a second-place team finish (125 points) - their highest since 1996. During the year, the Ducks continued to flex their depth in the 21 outdoor events with NCAA marks in nine of them, and points at the Pac-10 level in 15 of them. During the regular season, the Ducks went 3-0 with dual wins over Montana, Washington and Weber State, and ranked ninth in the national USTCA Power Rankings, based on a team's dual-meet potential. Academically, the men featured a league-high four first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selections (Ryan Andrus, Adam Bergquist, Billy Pappas, John Stiegeler), and two Verizon Academic All-America Second-Team selections (Adam Bergquist, Billy Pappas).
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