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Defending Champs Head to Rockies for Pac-12 Meet

Oct 30, 2013

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon will square off against the top ranked teams in the nation Saturday at the 2013 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships at Coal Creek Golf Course in Louisville, Colo. The Buffaloes of Colorado are hosting the Pac-12 meet for the first time.

The 8,000 meter men’s race, featuring No. 1 Colorado, starts at 9:40 a.m. Pacific time, followed by the 6,000 meter women’s race, with top-ranked Arizona at 10:40 a.m.

The top-ranked Buffaloes are the two-time defending champions for the men. They will be joined by No. 4 Oregon, No. 13 Stanford and No. 25 Washington, in addition to squads from Arizona, Arizona State, California, UCLA and Washington State.

The women’s race might be the best conference meet of the weekend, with the half the field ranked nationally.

Joining No. 1 Arizona will be No. 12 Oregon, which won the Pac-12 title a year ago, No. 13 Washington, No. 16 Colorado, No. 20 Stanford and No. 26 Arizona State. The rest of the field includes California, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Utah and Washington State.

The Duck men have entered their successful 1-2 freshmen combination of Edward Cheserek and Jake Leingang. Cheserek won the Boston XC Invite, was second at the Bill Dellinger Invitational and took fourth at the Pre-Nationals, while Leingang was the runner-up in Boston.

The men have also entered seniors Mac Fleet, Brett Johnson and Parker Stinson, juniors Jeramy Elkaim, Eric Jenkins, Tanguy Pepiot, Cole Watson and Daniel Winn, and sophomores Matt Jablonski and Matthew Melancon.

Megan Patrignelli heads Oregon’s women’s entries. The junior from Monroe, N.Y., has been the Ducks’ top finisher in all four races this season.

The women have also entered seniors Samantha Murphy and Sarah Penney, juniors Lindsay Crevoiserat and Mia Elbon, sophomores Molly Grabill, Annie Leblanc and Abbey Leonardi, and freshmen Skylar Evans, Therese Haiss, Ashley Maton and Maggie Schmaedick.

The Ducks are coming off a Pre-Nationals meet two weeks ago that saw the men finish as the runners-up to Colorado and the women take fifth.

The 2013 Pac-12 Championships will be broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks on a delayed basis on Monday, Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m. Pacific.

Time: 9:40 a.m. PT
Length: 8,000 Meters
Twitter: @OregonTF / @pac12 / @cubuffstracks
Live Stream: None
TV: Pac-12 Networks delayed broadcast, Monday, Nov. 4, 6:30 p.m. PT.
Results: /
Teams (9): Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Washington State.
Rankings: No. 1 Colorado, No. 4 Oregon, No. 13 Stanford and No. 25 Washington.
Oregon Entries: Seniors Mac Fleet, Brett Johnson and Parker Stinson, juniors Jeramy Elkaim, Eric Jenkins, Tanguy Pepiot, Cole Watson and Daniel Winn, sophomores Matt Jablonski and Matthew Melancon, and freshmen Edward Cheserek and Jake Leingang.

Time: 10:40 a.m. PT
Length: 6,000 Meters
Twitter: @OregonTF / @pac12 / @cubuffstracks
Live Stream: None
TV: Pac-12 Networks delayed broadcast, Monday, Nov. 4, 6:30 p.m. PT.
Results: /
Teams (12): Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State.
Rankings: No. 1 Colorado, No. 12 Oregon, No. 13 Washington, No. 16 Colorado, No. 20 Stanford and No. 26 Arizona State.
Oregon Entries: Seniors Samantha Murphy and Sarah Penney, juniors Lindsay Crevoiserat, Mia Elbon and Megan Patrignelli, sophomores Molly Grabill, Annie Leblanc and Abbey Leonardi, and freshmen Skylar Evans, Therese Haiss, Ashley Maton and Maggie Schmaedick.

The place of the first five finishers counts toward the team score. The next two runners may displace runners from opposing teams. First place is worth one point, second place two points, etc. Low score wins.

Ducks WEAR Pink for Dellinger Invitational
The University of Oregon men’s and women’s cross country teams wore pink at the Oct. 5 Bill Dellinger Invitational in recognition of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A number of the singlets worn by the Ducks are now being auctioned online at For more information on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit

Freshman Edward Cheserek posted his third top-four finish in as many races to lead the fourth-ranked Men of Oregon to a runner-up finish Oct. 29 at the Pre-Nationals meet in Terre Haute, Ind. The Duck women followed with a fifth place finish against a strong field of ranked teams. Cheserek used a deliberate pace to finish fourth in 23:33.0. The Newark, N.J., runner ran in the top five the entire race and comfortably finished in the top four for the third time this fall. No. 2 Colorado won the team competition with 90 points, but had to withstand a challenge from Oregon, which ended up second with 113 points. The Ducks got a huge boost from their two seniors, Parker Stinson and Mac Fleet. Stinson, from Austin, Texas, ran in the top five for much of the race before settling into 15th at the finish line in 23:45.8. Fleet, from San Diego, Calif., picked off a half dozen runners up the hill to the finish line in order to finish 16th in 23:46.8 in his first race this fall. The men also had freshman Jake Leingang 34th in 24:03.06, junior Daniel Winn 44th in 24:09.3 and sophomore Matthew Melancon 74th in 24:26.1. In the women’s race, without any frontrunners, the sixth-ranked Ducks placed a sizable group in the chase pack to earn a fifth place finish with 214 points. Megan Patrignelli paced Oregon for the fourth time this season. The junior from Monroe, N.Y., covered the 6,000 meter course in 20:46.3 to place 25th. She was followed by sophomore Molly Grabill, who was 36th in 20:53.5 and freshman Maggie Schmaedick 45th in 20:59.7. Sophomore Annie Leblanc took 53rd in 21:03.2 in her first cross country race of 2013, while sophomore Abbey Leonardi was 55th in 21:05.0. No. 5 Georgetown won the women’s meet with 116 points. No. 2 Florida State was second with 162, followed by No. 20 Butler (176), No. 16 Virginia (191) and Oregon to round out the top five. In the individual races, Pepiot opened his Oregon career with an impressive win, crossing the tape in 24:45.24. Pepiot had to hold off a late charge by Stuart Robertson of Virginia Tech, who came up to Pepiot’s shoulder 25 meters before the finish line. But Pepiot had one last burst left to get to the tape first in 24:45.3. Robertson was second in 24:48.4. In the women’s individual race, junior Mia Elbon finished fourth in 21:42.2 for the Ducks.

For the second straight week, freshman Edward Cheserek led the fourth ranked Men of Oregon to a hard fought seven-point victory, this time over Boise State and nine other teams, Oct. 5 at the eighth annual Bill Dellinger Invitational. The Duck women ran second to No. 7 Washington on a sunny fall morning before an estimated crowd of 1,500 at Springfield Country Club. From the outset, the Duck men were engaged in a tight contest with Boise State that included a fall in the first 50 meters by one of Oregon’s top runners, Jeramy Elkaim, and was not decided until Oregon’s fifth runner, Ryan Pickering, crossed the tape in 16th, giving the men their first Dellinger victory since 2010. Cheserek was one of three Ducks in the top six, but the Broncos placed all five of their runners in the top 13. The freshman from Newark, N.J., took second, covering the 8,000 meter course in 24:00. Senior Parker Stinson took fourth for Oregon in 24:17, and the men also saw a strong performance from Daniel Winn, who was sixth in 24:22 as the junior from Portland, Ore., turned is his best race as a Duck. The Broncos, which came into the meet ranked sixth in the West Region, countered with Allan Schroeder taking fifth in 24:19 to lead a BSU finish that went 5-7-9-11-13. However, the Ducks showed enough depth to make up for Elkaim’s fall with sophomore Matthew Melancon 10th in 24:26 and Pickering, a junior from West Palm Beach, Fla., moving up to 16th on the final lap in 24:39. The Ducks also had freshman Chris Brewer 21st in 24:44, with Elkaim recovering for a 40th place finish in 25:13. Oregon won with 32 points, followed by BSU with 39, and Washington and No. 8 Portland tied with 87. In the women’s race, the Huskies placed five runners in the top 13 to clip No. 5 Oregon. Washington won with 30 points, followed by Oregon with 52, Boise State with 63, Portland with 81 and Wichita State with 163. Megan Patrignelli led Oregon with her sixth place finish. The junior from Monroe, N.Y., covered the 5,000 meter course in 16:57. The Ducks also had sophomore Molly Grabill 14th in 17:20, sophomore Abbey Leonardi 15th in 17:23, freshman Maggie Schmaedick 16th in 17:24 and senior Sarah Penney 18h in 17:34.

Freshmen Edward Cheserek and Jake Leingang finished 1-2 to lead the 12th-ranked Men of Oregon to a striking victory Sept. 27 at the Boston College XC Invitational. The Duck women were nearly as impressive, overcoming a frightening fall by team leader Sarah Penney and finishing second only to top-ranked Providence on a sunny fall afternoon at Franklin Park. The Duck men used a huge push over the final 1,000 meters to pull away from the field and win with 22 points. No. 9 Syracuse was second with 69 points, No. 25 Providence was third (81), No. 8 Wisconsin was fourth (88) and Northeastern was fifth (157). The men placed six runners in the top nine, led by Cheserek’s win in 24:11. The freshmen from Kenya by way of Newark, N.J., made the most of his first turn in the green and yellow, crossing the tape inches ahead of Leingang for individual honors. Leingang, a 11-time state champion from Bismarck, N.D., also clocked in at 24:11. Ryan Pickering, a junior from West Palm Beach, Fla., finished fourth in 24:14. Sophomore Matthew Melancon, from Eugene, Ore., claimed the No. 7 spot overall in 24:18, while Jeramy Elkaim wrapped up the Ducks’ scoring; the junior from Livingston, N.J., was eighth in 24:20. For good measure, the Ducks had junior Daniel Winn, from Portland, Ore., ninth, also in 24:20. The third-ranked Duck women overcame a fall by Penney that left her bloody from a long gash on the back of her leg to finish second overall. No. 1 Providence won with 50 points, followed by Oregon with 85, No. 9 Cornell with 101, No. 24 Boston College with 110 and Wisconsin with 111 to round out the top 5. Megan Patrignelli picked up the stick for her fallen teammate and placed sixth overall. The junior from Monroe, N.Y., covered the 5,000 meter course in 17:22. Emily Sisson of Providence was the overall winner in 16:51. Freshman Maggie Schmaedick was Oregon’s No. 2 runner on Friday. The Eugene, Ore., native took 11th overall in 17:33. Sophomore Molly Grabill, from Poway, Calif., was a second behind Schmaedick in 12th (17:34). Abbey Leonardi made a successful return to her native New England. The sophomore from Kennebunkport, Maine, placed 17th overall in 17:35 for the Ducks. Penny, from Paradise Valley, Ariz., recovered to check in as Oregon’s No. 5 scorer, placing 40th in 18:13.

The third-ranked Oregon women’s cross country team swept the season opening PSU Viking Classic Sept. 6 at Blue Lake Park in Fairview, Ore. The Duck women defeated Oregon State 22-33, Portland 16-30 and Portland State 15-43. The No. 12 men fell to No. 8 Portland 25-31 and defeated Portland State 15-45. Megan Patrignelli led a 1-2-4-5 finish for the women. The junior from Monroe, N.Y., won the three-mile race in 16:08.49. Patrignelli was backed by an inspired performance from Molly Grabill, who placed second in 16:10.52. It was a satisfying race for Grabill, a sophomore from Poway, Calif., who was running in the Oregon singlet for the first time since being in a car accident last November that was caused when someone threw a rock off an Interstate 5 overpass through her windshield. The women also counted a third place finish from sophomore Abbey Leonardi (16:25.26), a fourth place finish from junior Mia Elbon (16:34.37) and a 13th place showing from freshman Skylar Evans (16:52.56). For the men. Ryan Pickering finished the four-mile race second in 20:13.37 with Daniel Winn, from nearby Portland, third in 20:13.99. The Duck men also had Matthew Melancon in sixth (20:20.21), Tim Costin ninth (20:27.33), Chris Brewer 12th (20:41.11) and Jeramy Elkaim 13th (20:45.05).

In the last half century, no other conference can match the league’s combined 20 NCAA men’s and women’s team championships in cross country.

Combined NCAA Team Titles by Conference, 1958-present
20 Pacific-12 Conference
15 Big East Conference
13 Southeastern Conference
11 Big XII
9 Big Ten
9 Conference USA

 The championship season is up next with the Pac-12 meet Nov. 2 at Colorado, the NCAA West Regional Nov. 15 in Sacramento and the NCAA Championships Nov. 23 at Terre Haute, Ind.

Oregon found the right combination of seasoned veterans, talented newcomers and a couple of key transfers to win the NCAA championship in 2012. The Ducks will again look for that formula to produce another run to the national stage in 2013. For the first time in four years, Oregon will not have its dependable ace Jordan Hasay toeing the line. Also gone are key seniors Alexi Pappas, Katie Conlon and Anne Kesselring. In their place, senior Sarah Penney looks to lead a young, but promising group of runners in 2013. Penney (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) was an important member of the 2012 squad, scoring among the team’s top five at both the Pac-12 and NCAA West meets and coming in as the team’s sixth runner at the NCAA Championships. She’ll be backed by runners who have extensive championship experience. Two of those runners will be new to Oregon, but not to the NCAA meet - junior Lindsay Crevoiserat and sophomore Julia Zrinyi. Both are transfers from Connecticut who helped the Huskies finish eighth at the NCAA Championships last season. Crevoiserat (Glastonbury, Conn.) finished 42nd overall at the 2013 NCAA meet, while Zrinyi (Winnipeg, Manitoba) was an NCAA championships qualifier following a pair of top-30 finishes at the regional and Big East meets as a freshman. Sophomore Annie Leblanc (Repentigny, Quebec) turned in an under-the-radar performance at the NCAA Championships. Her 68th place finish as the Ducks’ No. 5 finisher locked up the title for Oregon. Leblanc also scored at the Pac-12 and NCAA West meets, making her the only returning runner to score in all three races. Sophomore Abbey Leonardi (Kennebunkport, Maine) also saw action in all three championship races last season and will use that experience to improve as a sophomore. Junior Megan Patrignelli (Monroe, N.Y.) has proven to be a consistent performer for the Ducks in her career with Pac-12 championship experience. Sophomore Allie Woodward (Gren Bay, Wis.) was the Pac-12 freshman of the year in 2012 after finishing fifth at the conference meet and seventh at the West Regional. Oregon can also look for depth from a handful of other returners: junior Laura Roesler (Fargo, N.D.) sophomores Ally Aschbacher (Portland, Ore.), Claudia Francis (Queens, N.Y.) and Molly Grabill (Poway, Calif.) and redshirt freshmen Skylar Evans (Crozier, Va.) and Ashley Maton (Bend, Ore.). Grabill redshirted the 2012 season but was the only freshman to run at the 2011 NCAA Championships for the Ducks. Replacing Hasay and company will be no easy task, but a combination of transfers and freshmen look to bring a new influx of talent to the course. Belmont transfer Maria Elbon could be an immediate contributor for the Ducks. The Nashville, Tenn., native comes to Eugene with two seasons of eligibility remaining. Senior transfer Samantha Murphy (Perth, Ontario) is a middle distance standout from  Illinois. The bountiful freshman class includes a number of state champions from across the country: Ali Cash (Lenexa, Kan.), Therese Haiss (Solon, Ohio), Nikki Hiltz (Santa Cruz, Calif.), Kelly O’Neill (Lake Oswego, Ore.) and Maggie Schmaedick (Eugene, Ore.).

After returning to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2010, the Men of Oregon look to build on that experience with six runners returning from the Ducks’ 20th place national finish. This fall, Oregon will look to senior All-Americans Parker Stinson and Mac Fleet to lead the squad. Stinson, from Austin, Texas, is a two-time NCAA Cross Country Championships qualifier, while Fleet (San Diego, Calif.) was splendid in his triumphant return to running - winning the 2013 NCAA Outdoor 1,500 meter crown - after missing nearly two years due to injury. The rest of the squad will be filled out by rising underclassmen and newcomers. Sophomore Matthew Melancon (Eugene, Ore.) could be at the top of the returners. He is the Ducks’ top returning finisher from the 2013 NCAA Championships (97th). He added a 31st-place finish at the Pac-12 meet and is coming off a solid outdoor season. Right there with Melancon are juniors Jeramy Elkaim (Livingston, N.J.), who shined with a 32nd place finish at the NCAA West Regional, and Ryan Pickering (West Palm Beach, Fla.), who was 32nd at the league championships. Two other seniors have extensive postseason experience. Both Ben DeJarnette (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Cole Watson (Rogue River, Ore.) ran at the Pac-12 and NCAA West meets in 2012. DeJarnette impressed earlier in the year with his third place finish at the Bill Dellinger Invitational - his best run as a Duck - and went on to earn the NCAA Elite 89 award for men’s cross country as the competitor with the highest grade point average at the NCAA Championships. Other veterans in the mix in 2013 include seniors Tim Costin (Springfield, Ore.), and Brett Johnson (Ocean City, N.J.), juniors Colby Alexander (Strongsville, Ohio), Boru Guyota (Portland, Ore.) and Daniel Winn (Portland, Ore.), and sophomores Chris Brewer (Vista, Calif.), Russell Hornsby (Williamsburg, Va.) and Matt Jablonski (Cockeysville, Md.). The Ducks also welcome an exciting and talented crop of newcomers, led by Edward Cheserek (Newark, N.J.) and Eric Jenkins (Portsmouth, N.H.), a transfer from Northeastern who ran the fastest 5,000 meters by an American under the age of 21 last year (13:18.57). Other freshmen looking to make an immediate impact include Jackson Darland (Eugene, Ore.), Bryan Fernandez (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Jake Leingang (Bismarck, N.D.), Chris Mulverhill (Austin, Texas), Travis Neuman (Bend, Ore.), Dan Oekerman (Portland, Ore.), Sam Prakel (Versailles, Ohio) and Alec Smith (Portland, Ore.). Oregon also went to Europe for the addition of French runner Tanguy Pepiot, and added another Ivy League transfer, Nathan Mathabane (Portland, Ore.) from Princeton. In recent seasons, the men have experienced success on a national level rarely seen in TrackTown USA. Oregon won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2007 and 2008, and followed that with a runner-up finish in 2009. Those results harken back to the era of the legendary Steve Prefontaine, when the Ducks won national titles in 1971, 1973 and 1974, were second in 1970 and third in 1972.

The 2013 Women’s Indoor Track & Field national title was the 21st NCAA championship in school history. The others are men’s outdoor track & field in 1962, 1964, 1965, 1970 and 1984, women’s outdoor track & field in 1985, men’s indoor track & field in 2009, women’s indoor track & field in 2010, 2011 and 2012, men’s cross country in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 2007 and 2008, women’s cross country in 1983, 1987 and 2012, and men’s basketball in 1939. Additionally, Oregon’s acrobatics and tumbling team won NCATA national titles in 2011-12-13.

Historic Hayward Field will host the 2014 NCAA Championships June 11-14. It will be the 12th time that the historic venue has played host to the national meet. Previously, Hayward Field hosted the NCAA Championships in 1962, 1964, 1972, 1978, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2010 and 2013. Only Chicago, with 13 championships between 1921 and 1936, has hosted more NCAA meets.
 In addition to the annual Prefontaine Classic, Hayward Field has recently served as host to the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2009 and 2011 USA Track & Field Championships. Eugene will again host the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016, as well as the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships and the 2015 USA Championships. For more information on the NCAA Championships, go to

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