Lorenzo Nearly Pulls Off Come-from-Behind Decathlon Win in Texas Relays

April 3, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas - University of Oregon redshirt senior Santiago Lorenzo came as close as he could to winning his second Texas Relays title in second-day decathlon action in the Texas Relays, before finishing second in the event with a 22-point new personal best and NCAA automatic qualifying mark (7,911).

Lorenzo added two more personal bests among Thursday's five events - in the 110 hurdles (14.83, w:+3.1) and discus (145-8) - to go along with marks of 15-9 in the pole vault, 199-2 in the javelin and 4:32.58 in the 1,500. However, his gutsy effort fell just short as Auburn junior Maurice Smith who won the event by 12 points (7,925) and held off a furious charge in the final three events that saw Lorenzo make up 333 points in that span.

'A personal best is a personal best, so I can't be disappointed,' Lorenzo said. 'I scored 7,900 points for the first time, and with two really bad events yesterday, so that gives me confidence that I can score a lot higher. This week wasn't about winning or losing, it was about competing hard, and getting a big mark to qualify for the bigger meets later in the year.'

After coming off a sour finish in the 400 to end Wednesday, Lorenzo's personal best opener Thursday in the 110 hurdles started his 3,950-point day off right, although Auburn's Smith added 51 points to his lead thanks to the day's fastest time (14.42). The first-year Tiger and former juco national champion then added another 112 points to his cushion in the seventh event, the discus, as he launched the event's best mark of 163-5 thanks to a strong tailwind.

However, Lorenzo rallied on the event's eighth discipline with his 15-9 clearance in the pole vault - just shy of his personal best of 16-0 3/4 - to make up 196 points on Smith. Lorenzo drew another 75 points closer in the javelin with a throw of 199-2 - his second-best ever javelin mark and just shy of his personal best of 202-5 from the 2000 Texas Relays.

'I was really proud of the way I was able to step up on the third-attempt chances in the field events,' Lorenzo said. 'There were four times today in the discus and pole vault that I needed to improve on a third attempt, and I did. I could have even went higher in the pole vault, but the winds were so strong behind us, that I used six different poles - and several that I had never used before.'

Heading into the final event, Lorenzo needed to beat Smith by approximately 11 seconds - a tall feat consider Lorenzo's all-time best of 4:21.84 was less than a second faster than Smith's. But with Duck teammate Andy Young pulling him along and blocking most of the wind, the Oregon duo escaped Smith and started to open up a gap just before the midway point. At the finish line, as Young sped away in the final 200 meters and Lorenzo 10-15 meters back straining in the final straightaway sprint, Smith finished only eight seconds back of Lorenzo to win by 14 points.

'All of the credit in the 1,500 goes to Andy,' Lorenzo said. 'I came in thinking that a time of 4:35 would be great, so to go 4:32 is all I can ask for. He kept me going and gave me a shot to win.'

Lorenzo's mark from Wednesday and Thursday easily met the NCAA automatic standard of 7,500 points, and the fourth-ranked Duck drew closer to Oregon's third spot held by Craig Brigham (8,027). Pedro daSilva leads Oregon's all-tiem list (8,167), ahead of Muhammad Oliver (second, 8.087).

Lorenzo's appearance at the Mike A. Myers Stadium was his third in the Lone Star State classic, after he won the 2001 edition (then-PR 7,726w), and was the top collegian in 2000 (third overall, then-PR 7,580). However, the fourth-year Duck missed the 2002 edition with a quad muscle injury that forced him to redshirt the outdoor season. In his last full collegiate season in 2001, he won the NCAA title in Eugene, Oregon (then-PR 7,889) and Pac-10 title in Berkeley, Calif. (7,617).

Helping pace Lorenzo's late run for the win, redshirt sophomore Andy Young capped an auspicious 10-event debut and took 11th overall (6,948) to easily meet the Pac-10 qualifying mark (6,800) and finish only 56 points shy of the NCAA provisional mark (7,000). The Newwberg, Ore., native and Newberg High School graduate won the decathlon's final event, the 1,500 (4:30.16) and led from start to finish as he paced Lorenzo to second place in the event.

Earlier in the meet, Young posted personal best marks of 14.39w in the 110 hurdles (+4.4 wind), 15-9 in the pole vault and 170-10 in the javelin, and 106-11 in the discus.

'Santiago and Andy has outstanding efforts - you couldn't have asked for better openers,' Oregon assistant coach and decathlon mentor Bill Lawson said. 'They laid it on the line and stepped up in pressure situations all meet long. For where Santiago was yesterday - with severe enough leg cramps in the shot put and high jump that we weren't sure he was going to finish - he really rallied and showed what he was made of. Gabriel LeMay suffered a hamstring strain yesterday, but we'll get right back after it and get him healthy so he can also be ready to score at Pac-10s.'

In other men's action, the all-newcomer group of junior Adam Bailey and freshmen Ryan Flaherty, Tomas Finol and Jan Olszowy finished seventh in the 4x800 relay (7:36.83), while Arkansas (first, 7:25.14) edged Baylor (second, 7:27.01) for the win.

The Ducks also featured three entries in the 400 hurdles, with two newcomers - Matt Scherer (heat two, fourth, 53.35) and Eric Mitchum (heat five, second, 53.60) - notching their first Pac-10 qualifying marks in the event and were just shy of the Regional standard of 52.70. Junior Brandon Holliday overcame a near fall on the eighth hurdle to still finish the event (seventh, 55.14).

On the women's side, senior Jordan Sauvage upped her hammer throw personal best for the second time in three meets, this time with a three-foot, one-inch best (191-4) and ranked fourth among Thursday's 25 entrants. North Carolina's Laura Gerraught won the event (204-2) over LSU's Mallory McDonald (second, 197-4) and North Carolina's Ibiene Benibo (third, 195-7).

Full meet results are available at the www.texassports.com web site.

Looking ahead to Friday's third day action, Duck men's events include the 110 hurdles (Mitchum), triple jump (Strubel), 4x400 and sprint medley, and women's events include the 100 (Murtaugh), 100 hurdles (Andrus), high jump (Brogdon), pole vault (Moyle), triple jump (Brown), discus (Sauvage) and 4x100 and 4x400.


Texas Relays
Mike A. Myers Stadium
University of Texas
Austin, Texas
Thursday, April 3, 2003


4x800 - 1, Arkansas, 7:25.14. 2, Baylor, 7:27.01. 3, Illinois, 7:28.29. 7, Oregon (Bailey, Flaherty, Finol, Olszowy), 7:36.83.

400 Hurdles - Heat 1 - 1, Andrew Carruthers, Houston, 51.85. Heat 2 - 1, Nathaniel Garcia, TCU, 52.93. 4, Matt Scherer, Oregon, 53.35. Heat 3 - 1, Eric Dudley, WSU, 52.25. Heat 4 - 1, Seth Billy, Baylor, 51.59. 7, Brandon Holliday, Oregon, 55.14. Heat 5 - 1, Fred Sharpe, Auburn, 50.62. 2, Eric Mitchum, Oregon, 53.08. Heat 6 - 1, Greg Flint, BYU, 52.30. Heat 7 - 1, Billy Threets, Louisiana Tech, 52.13.

Decathlon - 1, Maurice Smith, Auburn, 7,925 points. 2, Santiago Lorenzo, Oregon, 7,911. 3, Dana Thomas, Central Michigan, 7,386. 4, Paul Speer, Wichita State, 7,315. 5, Curtis Puglsey, BYU, 7,249. 6, Nate Schmidt, North Dakota State, 7,230. 7, Travis Brandstatter, Minnesota, 7,186. 8, Trey Hardee, Mississippi State, 7,156. 9, Rick Halberg, Texas, 7,138. 10, Jens Lakoschat, Wichita State, 7,061. 11, Andy Young, Oregon, 6,948. 12, Devin Scoresby, BYU, 6,929. 13, Ron Veillon, Houston, 6,894. 14, Justin Palmer, 15, Ben Botello, North Texas, 6,595. 16, Lupe Florez, North Texas, 5,987.

Oregon Decathlete Event by Event Results

Santiago Lorenzo - 110H - 14.83 (w:+3.1), Discus - 145-8, Pole Vault - 15-9, Javelin 199-2, 1,500 - 4:32.58

Andy Young - 110H - 15.39w (w:+4.4), Discus - 106-11, Pole Vault - 15-9, Javelin 170-10, 1,500 - 4:30.16


Hammer - 1, Laura Gerraughty, North Carolina, 204-2. 2, Mallory McDonald, LSU, 197-4. 3, Ibiene Baibo, North Carolina, 195-7. 4, Jordan Suavage, Oregon, 191-4.

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