Cross Country Teams Look Forward to Fall Campaign
July 25, 2003
Quick Duck Men's Preview
* Squad finished second in Pac-10 & West Regional Championships
* Head Coach Martin Smith has guided Duck harriers to nine All-America honors in first four seasons
* Pac-10 returns NCAA champion (Stanford) and nine All-Americans from 2002
Quick Duck Women's Preview
* Head Coach and former state 4A harrier and 3K champ Marnie Mason (and distance mentor at Klamath Union and North Medford High Schools in southern Oregon) takes over Duck women's distance program as assistant track coach.
* Squad returns three of last year's top 30 regional finishers - seniors Laura Harmon (24th), Eri Macdonald (26th) and Magdalena Sandoval (30th) - but graduated All-American Carrie Zografos (33rd-NCAA; 6th-Regional; 8th-Pac-10).
* Pac-10 featured four NCAA team qualifiers in 2002 (including runners-up Stanford), and claimed seven All-America honors (two return in 2003 along with another former honoree).
WHAT'S UP IN 2003
Although classes don't start until Sept. 30, the Duck men's and women's harriers return to Eugene the first week of September in advance of their season opener - a quadrangular on Fri., Sept. 12 at Portland's Pier Park with Washington, Portland and Portland State at Pier Park in Portland. The men's 4-mile race will feature three of the top six teams from arguably the top regional last year (Oregon-2nd, Portland-4th, Washington-6th), although the teams may enter primarily 'B' units. On the women's side, Washington took fourth in the West Regional, one place and only nine points ahead of the Duck women (fifth, 129) to claim the final NCAA qualifying spot from the regional, while Portland and Portland State were 10th and 11th among the 28 teams in the women's West Regional.
NEW DUCK IN TOWN
The Duck women welcome a new distance coach, first-year mentor Marnie Mason who replaced Tom Heinonen who retired at the end of 2002-03 after 28 seasons as head distance mentor and 27 seasons as the head track and field coach. Mason was a 1985 graduate of Klamath Union High School in Klamath Falls, Ore., and won the 4A state harrier title as a junior in 1983 and the 3,000 track title as a senior in 1985. The prep track All-American also still owns the fifth-fastest time on Fresno's Woodward Park course - site of the Foot Locker West Regional course - then took eighth in the 1984 national finale. Afterwards, she ran for BYU for three seasons (fall 1985-spring 1988), then transferred to Southern Oregon for her senior year. As a prep coach, she made her mark recently as the boy's and girl's distance coach at her alma mater for two seasons and coached five 4A state individual champions - Liz Lindgren (cross country '00), Ian Dobson (cross country '99), Jacob Gomez (3,000, '01), Sara Schaaf (800, '01, 400 '00) and Evan Garich (800, '00), with Dobson the third-place finisher in the 1999 Footlocker National Cross Country Championships as a senior. She was named 1999 Oregon Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year after her team won the state title and was ranked fifth nationally, and also guided squads to four other top-10 state harrier finishes in 2000 (boy's, 3rd; girl's, 7th) and 1998 (boy's, 2nd, and girl's, 5th). The past two seasons, she quickly rebuilt the women's program at North Medford High School, as her cross country squad finished 12th in the 2002 state meet. Her former Klamath pupils currently run at three Pac-10 schools - Arizona State (Liz Lindgren), Oregon (redshirt sophomore Sara Schaaf) and Stanford (Ian Dobson, Jacob Gomez and Lauren Jesperson).
2003 MEN'S SEASON PREVIEW
The Duck men return six of last year's top seven from their fifth-place NCAA squad, although the sole loss is noticeable - two-time MVP, three-time All-American, and four-time NCAA top-50 finisher Jason Hartmann. Redshirt junior Ryan Andrus was arguably the Pac-10's most improved harrier in 2002, improving from 23rd as a freshman to fifth as a sophomore in the league showdown (and against a field that featured 11 All-Americans). On the oval, he followed with an NCAA berth in the 10,000 and improved from a 22nd-place seeding to miss All-America track honors by one place and one second (13th, one-second PR 29:11.04). Redshirt junior Eric Logsdon earned All-America honors in 2002-03 in cross country (41st) and outdoor track and field (5,000, eighth, 13:59.00). Outdoors, he claimed two other sub-14:00 efforts, including a personal best at home in the Oregon Invite (fifth, 13:52.62). Senior Brett Holts ran virtually all of last year's NCAA harrier race with Logsdon for similar All-America reviews (43rd), then claimed an NCAA track invite in the steeplechase (11th-heat, 8:54.07). He owned the Pac-10's fastest steeple clocking (personal best 8:48.81) of 2003 and was the league runner-up. Seniors John Lucas and Noel Paulson have claimed 19 scoring honors in their cross country careers already (12 & 7, respectively) in 28 races (14 each), and both are top-20 Pac-10 veterans. In track, Lucas was an NCAA 5K provisional qualifier indoors in 2002 (PR 14:16.40), and Paulson claimed similar honors indoors in the mile that season (PR 4:04.31). Redshirt sophomore Erik Heinonen has fought through various leg injuries his first two seasons, and if healthy could join the scoring mix after finishing fifth in the 2000 Foot Locker Championships as a senior. Sophomores Shane Ahlers and Will Viviani shared the team's seventh spot last season and should benefit from another season of training. The Duck also welcome five true freshmen - the Portland-area trio of Mike McGrath, Alec Wall and Patrick Werhane, Florence's Luke Martindale and Buchanan, California's Kyle Alcorn - although their status and potential redshirt possibilities will be evaluated upon their arrival.
2003 WOMEN'S SEASON PREVIEW
The Duck women graduated the first and sixth runners from last year's fifth-place Pac-10 and Regional finishers, including All-American Carrie Zografos (33rd, NCAA) and four-year letterwinner Erinn Gulbrandsen. Senior Laura Harmon raced in the team's second slot three times in 2002 and twice in 2001, and also led the squad once that latter season. On the oval, she's earned Pac-10 invites the past two years in the 1,500 and 5,000 and owns bests of 4:29.49 and 17:12.04, respectively. Redshirt senior Eri Macdonald looks to capitalize off her regional breakthrough last fall (26th) - one of 17 scoring efforts on the trails for Oregon - and is the squad's fastest returnee on the oval in the 800 (2:06.37) and 1,500 (4:25.81), although she looks forward to indoor eligibility only. Senior Magdalena Sandoval is the team's fastest returnee in the 5K (16:45.91) and 10K (36:30.65), and has run top four for the squad in all nine of her harrier races in 2001 and 2002 after competing for Rice as a freshman. Redshirt senior Alicia Snyder-Carlson doubled her number of career cross country appearances last fall with five starts, including her second scoring effort. On the track, she led the Ducks last spring in the steeplechase (10:57.72) and made Pac-10 and West Regional appearances in both. Redshirt junior Annette Mosey could add much-needed depth and has finished in the team's top five in four of five races in 2001 before redshirting in 2002 while studying in Spain. She ranks first among Duck returnees in the 800 with her 2002 outdoor best (2:10.55), and has also earned Pac-10 invites in the 1,500 (4:35.78 best from 2002). Freshman Eleanor Gordon walked on the squad in early October last year, then braved a stress fracture soon after to still run the Pac-10 finale (58th) finale. On the track, she missed both seasons returning from injuries. Other Ducks with various harrier experience that will challenge for their first varsity points is junior Beth Jackson (800 2:17.30), Taylor Bryant (800 2:18.11) and sophomores Haripurkh Khalsa, Chelsea Manesh (800 2:17) and Krissy Sonniksen (1,500 4:50; 3K 10:50).
Duck Returnees & Freshman Signees
Duck Men, Yr.-Exp., Hometown (Last School/HS)
Shane Ahlers, So.-SQ, Black Hawk, S.D. (Sturgis Brown)
Kyle Alcorn, Fr.-HS, Buchanan, Calif. (BHS)
Ryan Andrus, Jr.*-2L-TR, Orem, Utah (Wisconsin/Mountain View)
Brett Holts, Sr.-3L, Bend (BHS)
Eric Logsdon, Jr.*-2L, Canby (CHS)
John Lucas, Sr.*-3L, Eagle Point (EPHS)
Luke Martindale, Fr.-HS, Florence (Siuslaw)
Mike McGrath, Fr.-HS, Portland (Lincoln)
Noel Paulson, Sr.-2L, Aumsville (Cascade)
Will Viviani, So.*-SQ, Arlington, Va. (Lawrenceville Acad./Yorktown)
Alec Wall, Fr.-HS, Portland (Grant)
Patrick Werhane, Fr.-HS, Beaverton (Southridge)
Duck Women, Yr.-Exp., Hometown (Last School/HS)
Taylor Bryant, Jr.*-HS, Ontario (OHS)
Eleanor Gordon, So.-1L, Eugene (South)
Laura Harmon, Sr.-3L, Vancouver, Wash. (Jesuit-Portland)
Beth Jackson, Jr.*-SQ, Buffalo, Minn. (North Dakota/BHS)
Haripurkh Khalsa, So.*-SQ, Los Angeles, Calf. (Windward HS)
Chelsea Manesh, So.-SQ, Portland (Sunset)
Annette Mosey, Jr.*-1L, Wilsonville (St. Mary's Academy)
Magdalena Sandoval, Sr.-2L-TR, Los Alamos, N.M. (Rice/LAHS)
Alicia Snyder-Carlson, SR.*-1L, Kihei, Hawai'i (Wailuku)
Krissy Sonniksen, So.-SQ, Portland (Westview)
* indicates utilized redshirt season
Pronunciations: M - AYE-lers, AL-corn, ANN-druhs, HOLTS, LOGS-dun, MAC-GRATH, PAUL-son, VIH-vee-ahn-ee, WER-hain. W - har-ee-PURK CALL-sah, mah-NESH, MOE-see, SAN-dah-val, SAHN-nick-son.
OREGON IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Duck men's distance tradition was founded in the 1950s by Olympians and NCAA champions Jim Bailey and Bill Dellinger (who subsequently never lost a harrier race as a collegian or post-collegian), but it wasn't until 1963 when legendary coach Bill Bowerman sent his 'Men of Oregon' to their first collegiate cross country finale. That first squad finished second with 68 points behind San Jose State (53), one of 15 top-three UO finishes (four wins, seven runner-up honors, and four third-place finishes). With the four team titles under Dellinger's guidance as a coach (1971-73-74-77), only Arkansas (11) and UTEP (9) have won more since 1963, and Villanova has also won four during that span. Individually, thanks to three NCAA titles by Steve Prefontaine (1970-71-73) and another by Alberto Salazar (1978), only one school has won more individual titles in that period (Washington State, seven). On the women's side, recently retired 28th-year head coach Tom Heinonen stood second nationally (24) for most national cross country team appearances among active coaches behind Wisconsin's soon-retiring Peter Tegan (25) - a span that has included top-10 Duck NCAA/AIAW finishes on 18 occasions. Heinonen has coached 30 cross country All-Americans, and 53 distance-event All-Americans. Heinonen's first season as cross country coach in 1975 coincidentally marked the first-ever AIAW harrier championship, with the NCAA cross country championships following in 1981. The former Minnesota All-America distance runner Heinonen is also the only women's coach in NCAA history to have won three or more national titles in outdoor track and field (1985) and cross country (1983, '87), and he was honored as NCAA Coach of the Year following all three national championships.
MEN'S NATIONAL FORECAST
Although Stanford head coach Vin Lananna retired in July, the Cardinal are still the odds-on favorite for the NCAA top spot with six All-Americans and top-40 NCAA finishers back from 2002 - including four seniors that were top-10 last year. Last year's NCAA runner-up Wisconsin returns three All-Americans and top-25 NCAA finishers, and a fourth top-40 finisher from 2002, but will have little margin for error to unseat Stanford. Colorado won the 2001 national title but returns no scorers from that squad, and matriculated three of last year's top four (including NCAA champion Jorge Torres). Other darkhorses include Northern Arizona, Eastern Michigan and Arkansas. Individually, Arkansas's Alistair Cragg (5K 13:25.59 / 10K 28:20.29) looks to avenge his runner-up finish by less than two seconds in the NCAA finale last year. On the oval, he won the 5K indoors and outdoor for the Hogs, and was second in the 10K at the side of teammate Daniel Lincoln who won both the 10K and steeplechase. Indvidually, the Stanford front four will also contend with Colorado sophomore Dathan Ritzenhein (fourth as a frosh in '01, and a 13:27.77 5K'er in '02), the Wisconsin duo of Matt Tegenkamp and Josh Spiker, Iona sophomore and Kenyan Richard Kiplangat (15th in '02; 1,500 3:42.48 / 5K 13:41.25), and BYU junior and Kenyan Kip Kangogo (3,000 7:52.40 / 5K 13:53.67).
WOMEN'S NATIONAL FORECAST
BYU returns five of last year's top six finishers from their 2002 title and looks for its five team title in seven years (recent past team titles came in 2002, 2001, 1999 and 1997). The always-deep Cougars will fend off challenges from Stanford, Colorado, Wake Forest and Notre Dame. Returning champion Shalane Flanagan of North Carolina won the 5K outdoor collegiate crown in June, then ran 10 seconds faster in her PR and second-place USA finish (15:20.54). Leading the challengers, Stanford sophomore Alicia Craig won the NCAA 10K track title as a freshman in 2003 (PR 32:40.03), and was third on the trails last year. BYU sophomore and NCAA steeple champion and record holder Kassie Anderson (9:44.95) and was also seventh in the collegiate cross country chase. Other harriers to watch u pfront include NCAA indoor 5K champion Sara Gorton of Colorado (5K PR 15:24.97), Notre Dame's Molly Huddle (5K PR 15:36.95 as a frosh in 2003), and Mississippi State's Tiffany McWilliams, the NCAA 1,500 champion (4:06.975 PR en route to the collegiate crown).
During the season, the Duck M&W will try to garner as many head-to-head regular season wins against other potential NCAA participants from across the nation to help their qualifying cause for the NCAA Championships. Although they avoided the at-large process in 2002 with an automatic bid thanks to their second-place regional finish, the Duck men beat 12 squads across the nation that made the NCAA field in their season opener, the Roy Griak Invite. Five of those wins came against automatic qualifiers (No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 7 Eastern Michigan, No. 12 Providence, No. 24 Iowa and No. 27 Minnesota), and seven vs. at-large selections (No. 10 BYU, No. 11 Central Michigan, No. 14 Weber State, No. 17 Ohio State, No. 28 Michigan State, No. 36 Texas and No. 37 Texas A&M). Prior to the NCAA finale, the only squad that beat the Ducks was No. 1 Stanford who won the Pac-10 finale and Western Regional with the Ducks second in both. The Duck women fell just short of an at-large invite when regional third- and fourth-place finishers UCLA and Washington, were selected late in the at-large process. During the year, the Tom Heinonen's crew beat three NCAA qualifiers - Florida State (second in the South), Northwestern (second in the Midwest) and Ball State (fifth in the Great Lakes). The Duck women capitalized on the at-large system in 2000 after a fourth-place regional finish and previous regular season wins against five fellow NCAA qualifiers ï¿½ Marquette, North Carolina, South Florida, Wake Forest and Weber State.
LIFE IN A WESTERN TOWN
In 2002, the Pacific-10 Conference featured four, top-25-ranked women's squads and two, top-five men's team finishers in the NCAA Championships, and 15 All-Americans (10 men/5 women, including four Duck men and one Oregon woman). The previous year in 2001, the NCAA Western Regional and the 'Conference of Champions' again were the most prolific with 11 combined M&W teams. The NCAA men's results featured six regional and four Pac-10 teams (Stanford (second), Portland (seventh), Oregon (13th), Santa Barbara (17th), Arizona State (20th), and Arizona (21st)), and the women's results featured five conference foes (Arizona (fourth), Stanford (fifth), Washington (14th), UCLA (21st) and Arizona State (23rd)). In seven of the past eight NCAA finales, the men's Western Regional has featured six or more All-Americans, and the 2000 & 2001 NCAA women's fields featured five conference schools, and six in 1999. Altogether in the past 12 NCAA Cross Country Championships, the Pac-10 has featured four team titles (3 men's, 1 women's), four team runners-up (2 men's, 2 women's) and five individual winners (3 men's, 2 women's).
2002 DUCK MEN'S SEASON REVIEW
The Duck men turned in a strong championship run in 2002, capped by a fifth-place finish in their 28th NCAA trip ï¿½ and one place better than their pre-meet seeding. Their NCAA effort was their 18th top-five finish in the collegiate finale and the All-America quartet was the most since 1989's quartet of Brad Hudson-8th, Peter Fonseca-16th, Pat Haller-17th, Terrance Mahon-27th. In the Western Regional, the squad enjoyed their highest regional finish (second) under head coach Martin Smith after a pair of fourth-place finishes in 1999 and 2000 and third place in 2001. The Ducks' runner-up Pac-10 effort two weeks before was the second runner-up league finish in four seasons to go along with third-place efforts the other two seasons. On the individual front, Jason Hartmann (Rockford, Mich.) became only the eighth Duck to claim three All-America honors (he missed another honor in 2002 by 10 seconds (50th, 30:21)). Overall in his career, he led the squad in 12 of his 14 races his sophomore through senior seasons, and was the Pac-10 Men's Newcomer of the Year as a frosh. Ryan Andrus (Orem, Utah) led the team in the season opener in Minnesota, then stood second for the Ducks in the NCAA (34th), Western Regional (sixth) and Pac-10 (fifth) finales. Brett Holts (Bend) and John Lucas (Eagle Point) each claimed their third top-25 Pac-10 honors of their career in 2002 (12th/17th), and Noel Paulson (Aumsville) added his second top-25 league honor in 2002 (18th). Eric Logsdon (Canby) had an impressive stretch run in his second collegiate campaign and climbed from 17th place in the Pac-10, to 16th place in the West Regional, then 41st in the NCAA finale.
2002 DUCK WOMEN'S SEASON REVIEW
Graduated senior Carrie Zografos (Portland) led the squad in all five of her races last season and became Oregon's first All-American since 1999, after top-eight Pac-10 (eighth) and West Regional (sixth) efforts. Laura Harmon (Vancouver, Wash.) consistently ran in the team's second slot with best-ever Pac-10 (19th) and Regional (24th) efforts and helped key the team to fifth-place team finishes in the regional and conference showdowns. Eri Macdonald (Honolulu, Hawai'i) capped her penultimate harrier season at Regionals with arguably her best-ever harrier effort (26th), and placed top-five for the Ducks in all five of her fall appearances to raise her career scoring run to 18 of 20 appearances (including NCAA finales in 1999 and 2000). Magdalena Sandoval (Los Alamos, N.M.) overcame a slight hamstring injury midseason to still score top-four team finishes in all four of her races, including a best-ever regional effort (30th). Graduated senior Erinn Gulbrandsen (Chico, Calif.) scored for the squad in four of five races, including a best-ever 47th regional placing. Redshirt sophomore Alicia Snyder-Carlson (Kihei, Hawai'i) continued to mature as a distance runner, and had one scoring effort this season and ran top seven in three other races. Then-freshman Nicole Feest was the most-prolific racer on the season, and ran top seven in all seven of her races including sixth on the team in the Pac-10 (54th) and Regional (67th) Championships. Junior Annette Mosey (Wilsonville) redshirted while studying in Spain after scoring in five of her six races in 2001.
No university boasts a combined history as rich as the Oregon men's and women's programs. Dating back to All-American Steve Prefontaine in 1969, 18 men's runners have finished among the top five in the NCAA Championships - the most recent being Steve Fein (third in '99). The list of Oregon greats includes such legends as NCAA harrier champions 'Pre' (1970-71-73) and Alberto Salazar (1978) and fellow American track record holders Rudy Chapa and Matt Centrowitz. On the women's side, Oregon has qualified as a team in 24 of 28 NCAA meets since 1975, and has finished in the top 10 in 18 appearances. Duck women have garnered 31 All-America honors and have featured such greats as Marie Davis, Melody Fairchild, Kathy Hayes, Lisa Ondieki, and Annette Peters.
AT THE HELM
In his fifth season as men's cross country head coach, Martin Smith has guided the Duck men to three top-15 NCAA finishes, and his Duck pupils have claimed one Pac-10 and Regional title and 11 All-America honors on the trails since 1998. Altogether in track and field and cross country since his arrival in 1998, the Ducks have garnered 30 All-America honors individually. In return for the team's 15th-place indoor and outdoor showings in 2002, Smith was tabbed Pac-10 and West Region Men's Track Coach of the Year. Previously, the two-time NCAA Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year (1985 & 88) led Wisconsin harrier squads to two NCAA titles; nine top-five finishes; and top-14 finishes in each of his 15 years in Madison. On the individual side, his Badger cross country athletes won one NCAA title and 34 All-America awards, to go with five NCAA titles and 44 All-America honors on the track. His harrier All-America tally during that period trailed only Arkansas, and even bettered the Hogs' tally counting only U.S. athletes. On the women's side, first-year head coach Marnie Mason adds another chapter to one of the state's most prolific prep distance resumes. The Klamath Falls native won 4A state harrier and 3,000 track titles as a junior (1993) and senior (1995), respectively. In her two years as distance coach for her alma mater, five of her athletes won state track and harrier titles. In the state team chase, the 1999 Oregon Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year led her team to the the state title ï¿½ one of five top-10 state harrier finishes, including 2000 (boy's, 3rd; girl's, 7th) and 1998 (boy's, 2nd, and girl's, 5th) - and a fifth-place ranking nationally. The past two seasons, she quickly rebuilt the women's program at North Medford High School , as her cross country squad finished 12th in the 2002 state meet. Her former Klamath pupils currently run at three Pac-10 schools - Arizona State (Liz Lindgren), Oregon (redshirt sophomore Sara Schaaf) and Stanford (Ian Dobson, Jacob Gomez and Lauren Jesperson).
SCORING THE RACE
Cross country races are scored by adding together the places of each seven-person team's top five finishers, with the lowest score winning. A perfect score would be 15 points (1+2+3+4+5), although scores in larger meets such as the NCAA Championships are much higher because of the larger number of teams on hand (i.e. 50-100+ points). In the NCAA Championships or other regular season invitationals where runners may qualify or compete solely as individuals, their places are not counted in the team scoring (i.e. a runner who finished 49th overall but was beaten by two individuals not affiliated with teams would be scored 47th in the team scoring).
All-America honors are awarded based on NCAA Championships finishes. The top 30 finishers from both the men's and women's races, regardless of citizenship, are honored by the U.S. Cross Country Coaches Association, along with any additional finishers that are among the top 30 U.S. finishers. Often the award will extend to Americans in the 40th-50th range on the men's side, and 35th-40th on the women's side.
PAC-10 HONOR ROLL
On the year-end Pac-10 All-Academic charts, the Duck M&W combined for three first-team, another second-team, and seven honorable mention selections. Graduated-senior Erinn Gulbrandsen (3.75, English) and redshirt junior Ryan Andrus (4.00 GPA, Business Administration) repeated first-team honors from 2001, and redshirt senior Eri Macdonald (3.66, Journalism) claimed her first top-team honor. The Chico, Calif., native Gulbrandsen was the only female to duplicate the feat, and Andrus was one of only two repeat men's honorees with Arizona's Mark Anderson. Andrus also joined Stanford's Adam Tenforde as one of only two men's selections that were All-Americans in the NCAA Championships ï¿½ Andrus took 34th and Tenforde placed 29th. Before redshirting last season, Macdonald was an honorable mention selection as a sophomore in 2000, the same year Gulbrandsen was a second-team pick also as a sophomore. One of 10 men's second-team picks, redshirt senior John Lucas received his highest career honor for the Ducks, after honorable mention acclaim in 2001. The Ducks also placed four women (Taylor Bryant, Laura Harmon, Alicia Snyder-Carlson, Carrie Zografos) and three men (Brett Holts, Eric Logsdon, Noel Paulson) on the honorable mention lists. Harmon and Zografos were repeat women's selections, as were the entire men's trio. To be eligible for selection, student-athletes must be on the squad for at least one season, have a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average, and be either a starter or significant contributor.
Duck Men's Distance Coach Martin Smith Quotes:
'Our most important strength is our presence up front with three All-Americans back. All three were in the top 45 at nationals last year, and they are looking to improve off those finishes. After that, our team's chances really depend on our 4-5-6-7 positions. We have two experienced returnees in seniors John Lucas and Noel Paulson who have run consistently near or at those spots, and that leaves two more spots for several young runners. In races, we'd like to have those positions work together in a pack for as long as it's feasible to maximize our team chances. Erik Heinonen could be a big plus in any of those spots if he's healthy. Looking at our freshman in general, and not to put too much pressure on them, freshman Alec Wall could be the most ready to slide in there somewhere. We'll evaluate Alec and our other freshmen - Kyle Alcorn, Patrick Werhane, Luke Martindale - when they arrive in the fall. We'll look at their fitness and talk about what's best for them and the team both now and in the future, then decide whether to run or redshirt them.'
'Overall, it's a pretty interesting team. We don't have a lot of depth, so we have to be really careful of injuries, but we've had that same situation in previous years. We've lost a key runner up front in Jason Hartmann who was a three-time All-American. We haven't added a national class cross country runner of his talent to replace him, so we'll have to be cautious in our goals at the national level. We're a reasonably solid team up front, but we need to continue to develop as the season progresses. If we can have our fourth and fifth runners be somewhere in the top 100, at nationals I think that would mean a finish in the single digits as a team at nationals. But any type of injuries could quickly change that, and and also in the Pac-10 and West Regional which are historically very talented fields.'
'Pac-10 wise, Stanford is still the class of the field and they have a very experienced group with six All-Americans up front, so they are also the likely favorite for the NCAA Championships with Arkansas, Wisconsin and Northern Arizona also strong teams. Across the nation, I think a lot of teams redshirted athletes last year, so there will be a lot of seniors up front for a lot of strong teams. The national meet (in Cedar Falls, Iowa at the University of Northern Iowa) appears fairly flat with good footing, so it could be a fairly fast race if the weather cooperates, although you can never predict that in the Midwest. Around the conference, I think Arizona will start to emerge as a team to watch with their Kenyan individuals up front. They also have some talented returnees that will continue to mature. Washington also has a very talented group and could be a team to watch.'
Duck Women's Distance Coach Marnie Mason Quotes:
'I'm very motivated to have Oregon return to the national prominence it had when I was recruited to come here in the mid '80s. Martin's done an incredible job with the men's program in a challenging transition, and I'm behind what he's done 100 percent. I want the same things for my team as he wants from his. There's no place to train like Eugene, and no reason why any runner shouldn't want to run here.'
'My goal coming in is to provide structure and direction. On an individual basis, I want them to make a difference in their life, and help them focus on accomplishing their goals. I want them to develop and stay healthy and progress, and develop their self-motivation. On the off-days, I'll give them freedom to do what they need to do as individuals, but on hard days, I want them to work hard and together. My style is really hands-on and emphasizes communication. I want to know how my athletes are doing. If they're getting enough rest, how they feel, so on so we can grow together.'
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TODAY | 1:00pm PTLive
TODAY | 3:00pm PTLive
TODAY | 5:00pm PTLive