Megan Patrignelli

A Few Notable Ducks on the Track and Field Team Reeling in Academic Awards

Although it was announced on Wednesday February 11th, 2015, sophomore runner Edward Cheserek was named Division I Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. While this was one of the biggest honors mentioned on Wednesday, it’s also notable to commemorate the five...

Cheserek picks up sixth consecutive win at cross country Pre-Nationals

At the Pre-Nationals Invitational in Terre Haute, Indiana on Saturday, Edward Cheserek dazzled the cross country crowd once again.

Picking up his sixth consecutive win dating back to the 2013 Pac-12 Championships, Cheserek turned on the afterburners around the 5,000 meter mark and finished in 24:04.5 to win the individual title.

Overall, both Oregon teams finished second overall in the team rankings at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, the same venue that will host the NCAA Cross Country Championships in late November. 

Senior Eric Jenkins finished two spots behind Cheserek, for a third place finish in 24:09.4. Seniors teammates Daniel Winn and Tanguy Pepiot finished 19th and 26th, respectively. 

Top-ranked Colorado won the men’s title 35 points, followed by No. 2 Oregon with 91. Georgetown finished with 148, while No. 26 Furman had 262 and No. 22 Colorado State tallied 272.

“Edward and Eric really worked well together running up front great, so I like that and we had a pretty good pack behind them,” associate coach Andy Powell told GoDucks.com. “For all those guys, it was the first really hard effort of the season, and that’s why we come to this meet, to get that experience… I think we still can be a lot better when we come back here in five weeks for the NCAA Championships.”

On the women’s side, the Ducks were paced by senior Megan Patrignelli’s 18th place finish in 21:12.0. All five of Oregon’s scoring runners finished within 10 seconds of each other. As a pack, the women waited until the final 1,000 meters to move up as a pack to pass a number of teams in the final stretch, including top-ranked Michigan. 

Freshman Frida Berge was the second finisher for the Ducks in 26th at 21:15.2 while sophomore Maggie Schmaedick finished just behind for 27th overall in 21:15.3.

No. 4 Georgetown won the title outright with 110 points, followed by No. 3 Oregon with 139. No. 1 Michigan finished with 143, No. 7 Colorado had 186 and No. 29 North Carolina State at 233.

The Ducks were without Molly Grabill and Lindsay Crevoiserat on Saturday after contracting a stomach virus.

“We ran brilliantly together today, really packing it up there throughout the whole race,” assistant coach Maurica Powell told GoDucks.com. “We knocked off a good Michigan team which was a big thing for us.”

Next up for the Ducks is the Pac-12 Championships in Oakland, Calif. on Oct. 31.

Follow Jonathan Hawthorne on Twitter @Jon_Hawthorne

Oregon cross country off to fast start behind Cheserek and Jenkins

It’s no secret that Oregon has famously had some of the best runners and athletes in the country—this season hasn’t been any different.

Last year, the men took fifth place overall at the NCAA Cross Country championships while the women recorded a 14th place finish. Two years ago, the women took the top position on the podium.

The men, already with two wins under their belt, are currently ranked No. 3 in the nation, while the women took third place at the first meet of the season, the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Eugene on Sept. 6.

Here are two men and two women Oregon cross country fans should keep their eyes on in the coming weeks as the season hits full stride.

Edward Cheserek

Already with two individual wins under his belt this season and a NCAA Cross Country individual title from last, Cheserek has taken Eugene by storm for his distance ability, especially when he turns on the “afterburners” when the race is on the line. The sophomore from Newark, New Jersey, by way of Kenya joined an elite group of Oregon champions last year that included: Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar and Galen Rupp.

Last weekend, at the Battle of Beantown, he narrowly beat out his opponent—a fellow Duck—to win his fifth consecutive race, dating back to last season.

Eric Jenkins

In his senior season from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Jenkins has proved to be a leader and a consistent impact on the scoreboard for the Ducks. Last weekend in Boston, he was only just narrowly beaten out by Cheserek at the finish line. Last season was his first at Oregon, and earned All-America status after qualifying for the Pac-12, NCAA Regional and NCAA Championships. He cemented his name in the record books with his fourth place finish in the 5,000 meter (13:27.41) at the NCAA Championships, the eighth fastest time in school history.

Lindsay Crevoiserat

The senior from Glastonbury, Connecticut earned the title of Oregon’s top-place finisher in seventh with a time of 20:23 for 6,000 meters in the Bill Dellinger Invitational on Sept. 6. Her effort was her best as a Duck and her first in an Oregon uniform. 

“The first meet, we just got there, and I think it was a good checkpoint for where we are fitness-wise,” Crevoiserat said. “But to having that gap of just training—to focus on training, let us all work together and let us get more in shape and see what that will do for this meet” (Washington Invitational, Oct. 4.).

Megan Patrignelli

During her 2013-2014 campaign, Patrignelli placed the Ducks for the first five meets of the season, including a first place at the PSU Viking Classic was her first victory as a Duck. Her indivual 17th place finish at the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships with a time of 22:18 in the 6,000 meters was good enough to help the Ducks to a fourth-place finish. A senior from Monroe, New York, Patrignelli did not compete in the first meet of the season, the Bill Dellinger Invitational, but will presumably race this weekend in the Washington Invitational.

Follow Jonathan Hawthorne on Twitter @Jon_Hawthorne

Oregon track and field named 19 to All-Academic Teams

Oregon track and field celebrated 19 of their student athletes as they were named to the Pac-12 All-Academic teams, the conference announced Thursday.

In total 11 Duck women and eight men were honored for their achievements in the classroom as students.

Distance runner Casey Campbell was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic First team. Campbell currently has a 3.61 GPA and is working toward a degree in architecture.

T.J. Brassil (3.63, journalism), Tim Costin (3.44, general business) and Bradley Laubacher (3.60, family and human services) all were named to the second team on the men’s side, while Ally Aschbacher (3.75, material and product studies) and Annie Leblanc (3.81, human physiology) were named to the second team for the women.

The women’s team also had nine honorable mentions: Laura Bobek, Lauren Crockett, Brittany Mann, Ashley Maton, Megan Patrignelli, Jenna Prandini, Laura Roesler, Rachel Sherrel and Annie Whitfield.

The men had four honorable mentions of their own: Ron Perkins, Parker Stinson, Trent Warren and Daniel Winn.

Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur

Sasha Wallace sets school record as Ducks close successful weekend at Husky Classic

The Oregon Track and Field team continued its strong weekend on Saturday by posting a number of NCAA top-10 finishes. In both Albuquerque, N.M. for the Don Kirby Elite and in Seattle, Wash.  for the Husky Classic, the Ducks finished with two school records being eclipsed and plenty of other great performances.

In Albuquerque, the men’s and women’s 4

Edward Cheserek wins again and the Oregon men earn automatic bid to NCAA cross country championships

The Oregon men punched their ticket to next weekend’s NCAA championships and freshman standout Edward Cheserek continued his outstanding season with a win at the NCAA West Regional Championships on Friday.

Cheserek ran side-by-side with teammate Parker Stinson for the majority of the race, as the duo held a nine-second lead over the 15-man pack through 8,000 meters. Stinson eventually came back to the pack, fading to a fifth place finish, but Cheserek held pace over the final 2,000 meters, finishing eight seconds ahead of Stanford’s Jim Rosa. Cheserek navigated his first collegiate 10,000-meter race in 29:35 and will head into the NCAA championship meet as both the Pac-12 and West Regional champion.

Oregon finished second behind Stanford in team scoring. The Cardinal placed three runners in the top six and beat the Ducks by a score of 53-64. Oregon’s third runner was senior Mac Fleet, who finished 13th in 29:58, one second behind Stanford’s No. 4 runner Sean McGorty. Junior transfer Tanguy Pepiot followed up on his strong Pac-12 championship showing with a 19th place finish of 30:12. Rounding out the top five for Oregon was freshman Jake Leingang, who finished 28th in 30:30.

With their second place finish, Oregon earned an automatic bid to next Saturday’s NCAA championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The next team finishers were Portland, Boise State and Arizona State, which all stand good chances of earning one of 13 at-large bids to the NCAA championships.

On the women’s side, Oregon missed out on an automatic bid but with a strong third-place finish, the Ducks stand a good chance at receiving an at-large bid.

Leading the way for Oregon was sophomore Molly Grabill, who traversed the 6,000-meter course in 20:01 for a 14th-place finish. Grabill ran with teammates Annie Leblanc and Maggie Schmaedick for the majority of the race, with Leblanc finishing 17th in 20:04 and Schmaedick finishing 25th in 20:16. Rounding out the top five for Oregon was Abbey Leonardi and Megan Patrignelli, who finished 31st and 33rd respectively. Boise State’s Emma Bates took the individual honors in 19:11 over Arizona State’s Shelby Houlihan.

Arizona beat Stanford in team scoring 84-94, with both squads earning automatic bids to the NCAA championships. Oregon finished a distant third with 120 points, but with regular season wins over Stanford and Great Lakes qualifier Michigan, the Ducks are likely to receive an at-large bid to Terre Haute.

You can find official results from Friday’s NCAA West Regional championships here.

Follow Chris Mosch on Twitter @chris_mosch

Freshman Edward Cheserek captures Pac-12 cross-country title

Saturday’s Pac-12 Cross-Country Championships featured the No. 1 teams in the country for both the men and women, and each squad justified its top ranking.

The Colorado men and the Arizona women convincingly won their respective races, while Oregon’s freshman phenom Edward Cheserek captured the men’s individual crown.

The top-ranked Buffaloes dominated the men’s field, as they placed their top-five scorers in the top nine overall. Blake Theroux, Connor Winter and Ben Saarel finished 3-4-5 in the 8,000-meter race, Pierce Murphy placed seventh and Ammar Moussa rounded out Colorado’s top five in ninth.

The Oregon men finished second to Colorado in the team scoring and were led by Cheserek, who took home the individual honors. Cheserek ran with the front pack for the majority of the race before distancing himself from the field over the final 2,000 meters to win in 24:36. Stanford’s Jim Rosa took second in 24:42.

Seniors Parker Stinson and Mac Fleet were the next Oregon finishers. Stinson placed sixth overall with a time of 24:56, and Fleet edged out Stanford’s Erik Olson for 10th in 25:23. Freshman Jake Leingang ran 25:37, good for 16th overall, and French transfer Tanguy Pepiot finished 21st in 25:52 to round out Oregon’s top five. Daniel Winn finished 27th in 25:56, and Cole Watson was the 33rd overall finisher in 26:08.

On the women’s side, Arizona duked it out with Colorado, but the Wildcats ultimately came out on top with their top-heavy attack. Arizona placed three runners in the top six overall, as Elvin Kibet finished second and teammates Kayla Beattie and Nicci Corbin finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Arizona edged out Colorado 69-75 to capture its first Pac-12 championship in program history, and Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe took home the individual honors for the women, breaking the tape in 21:04.

The Oregon women finished fourth in the team standings and were once again led by Megan Patrignelli. The Oregon senior finished the 6,000-meter race 17th overall in 22:18 and has led the Ducks in all five of their races this season. Patrignelli was closely followed by teammates Abbey Leonardi (21st, 22:25), Maggie Schmaedick (22nd, 22:26), Annie Leblanc (25th, 22:31) and Lindsay Crevoiserat (28th, 22:37). Maria Elbon finished in 35th in 22:51 and Molly Grabill followed in 37th in 22:52. Oregon’s top five women were separated by just 19 seconds but were edged out by Washington for third place by a score of 111-113.

On Nov. 15, the Ducks will travel to Sacramento, Calif., to compete in the NCAA West Regional, where the top two teams for both the men and women will receive automatic bids to the NCAA Championships the following weekend.

Follow Chris Mosch on Twitter @chris_mosch

Oregon cross country men finish runner-up to Colorado at Pre-Nationals Invitational, women finish fifth

Saturday morning featured a Pac-12 showdown of sorts at the NCAA Pre-Nationals Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., as the No. 2-ranked Colorado men squared off against No. 4 Oregon at the site of November’s NCAA cross country championships.

Individually, it was the Kennedy Kithuka show, as the reigning NCAA champion from Texas Tech distanced himself from the rest of the field within the first mile and navigated the 8,000-meter course in 22:52, just one second off the course record. Coming in 32 seconds later was UTEP’s Anthony Rotich, who ran in no-man’s land for the majority of the race and finished second in 23:25.

Through the first 5,000 meters, Oregon’s Edward Cheserek and Parker Stinson were part of a four-man chase pack that included Tulsa’s Chris O’Hare and Iona’s Matt Gillespie. Colorado held a close 97-102 lead over Oregon through 5,000 meters in the team battle.

Cheserek and O’Hare battled it out for third place, with O’Hare pulling ahead of the Oregon freshman over the final 50 meters. O’Hare crossed the finish line in 23:32 with Cheserek coming in one second later at 23:33.

Stinson ran well for most of the race, but was overtaken by a handful of runners during the final mile and finished 15th overall in 23:45. Coming in one second after Stinson in 16th place was Oregon senior Mac Fleet, who looked strong in his season debut.

Freshman Jake Leingang was the 34th finisher at 24:03 and junior Daniel Winn rounded out Oregon’s top five, finishing 44th overall in 24:09. Matthew Melancon was 74th in 24:26 and Jeramy Elkaim came in 141st at 24:54.

Colorado opened up its team lead a bit during the final 3,000 meters, beating Oregon by a score of 90-113. Colorado put five runners in the top 28, including sophomore Morgan Pearson who was the Buffaloes’ top runner in seventh overall. Iona finished third with 126 points, with Stanford edging Tulsa out for fourth place, 148-159.

The race for the women’s top individual honors was much more suspenseful than that of the men’s. There was a large lead pack for the majority of the 6,000-meter race and just three seconds separated the first 19 women through 4,000 meters.

With just over 1,000 meters to go, Florida State’s Hannah Walker created some separation from the pack, building a twenty-meter lead over Boise State’s Emma Bates and the rest of the field.

As the women hit Terre Haute’s notoriously long final straightaway, Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe charged to take the lead with approximately 400 meters to go. Cuffe appeared to have the race wrapped up, but Bates threw down a wicked finishing kick, passing the Cardinal junior during the final 50 meters to take the win in 20:09. Cuffe finished second in 20:10 and Walker crossed in 20:14, good for sixth place.

The Oregon women formed a tight pack for much of the race, as Molly Grabill, Megan Patrignelli, Annie Leblanc, Maggie Schmaedick and Abbey Leonardi were all positioned between 35th and 44th with a three-second spread through 4,000 meters.

Patrignelli made a strong move over the final third of the race, finishing 25th overall in 20:46. The senior has been Oregon’s top finisher in each of the team’s four races this season. Grabill finished 36th in 20:53 and Schmaedick came in 45th in 20:59. Leblanc finished 53rd in 21:03 and Leonardi rounded out Oregon’s top five at 55th overall in 21:05.

Oregon finished fifth in the team scoring with 214 points, a far cry behind Georgetown, who had 116 points. The Hoyas had a 21-second spread amongst their top-five runners, who all finished in the top 32 overall. Florida State finished second with 162 points, Butler notched 176 points for third place and Virginia came in fourth with 191 points.

Oregon will take a two-week break from racing before running at the Pac-12 Championships in Louisville, Colo. on Nov. 2.

Cheserek leads Oregon cross country men to victory at Dellinger Invitational, women finish second

Led once again by freshman Edward Cheserek, the Oregon men took home its second team win in as many weeks on Saturday at the Bill Dellinger Invitational.

There were approximately 1,500 in attendance on a warm and sunny Saturday at the Springfield Country Club that watched Washington junior Aaron Nelson distance himself from the rest of the pack shortly after the first mile.

Nelson maintained a lead as large as 16 seconds with less than a mile to go and Cheserek made a strong finishing push, but finished five seconds behind Nelson, who navigated the 8,000-meter course in 23 minutes and 55 seconds.

For Cheserek, it was never about catching Nelson, but about his team’s performance.

“Oh yeah, I’m happy,” Cheserek said when asked about how the race played out. “I did exactly what Coach (Robert Johnson) told us, which was to run as a team. Our one focus was to run as a team and go for the win as a team.”

For much of the race, Cheserek ran alongside teammate Parker Stinson, who bounced back from a disappointing race last week at the Boston College Invitational to finish fourth place overall at Springfield with a time of 24:17.

“I’m really happy with today,” Stinson said. “Sometimes you get really bummed out like after last race in Boston, but at the end of the day, training’s been going good and I’m healthy. I’ve been injured before and it’s a much worse place to be.”

Following Stinson was junior Daniel Winn, who finished in sixth place with a time of 24:22. Clocking in four seconds later at 24:26 to round out the top-ten overall finishers was sophomore Matthew Melancon. Junior Ryan Pickering finished 16th overall in 24:39 and was the fifth Duck scorer.

The race started off in slight chaos, when a handful of runners took a tumble on the initial straightaway. Oregon junior Jeramy Elkaim appeared to be one of the runners to fall victim to the hectic start, as he ran the rest of the race with visible streaks of dirt on the back of his jersey and finished in 40th place overall.

Head coach Robert Johnson, in his ninth season with the team and second season at the helm, elaborated on his instructions to Cheserek and the rest of the team.

“We wanted to have control of our effort, get out early and then just try to stay together and stay as a pack. That’s exactly what we’ve been preaching to them all week long,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s strategy worked well, as Oregon edged out Boise State by a score of 32 to 39.

Once again, it was senior Megan Patrignelli coming through to lead the Oregon women, who finished second in the team scoring to a strong Washington squad that managed to place five runners in the top 13 overall.

For the third time in as many races this season, Patrignelli was the first Duck to stop the clock, finishing the 5,000-meter race sixth overall with a time of 16:57.

Molly Grabill, Abbey Leonardi and Maggie Schmaedick stuck close together for the majority of the race and finished 14th through 16th, all within four seconds of each other. Grabill was the first of the trio to cross the finish line at 17:20, while Leonardi and Schmaedick followed in 17:23 and 17:24, respectively.

Senior Sarah Penney rounded out Oregon’s top-five scorers in 18th place with a time of 17:34.

Similar to the men, the Oregon women came into the race with a plan to stick together and run as a pack.

“I felt not as good as I felt last week, but I thought it was a solid day,” Patrignelli said. “I think we did a good job in the beginning of the race, staying together. But we can still do a lot better.”

Coming off a trip to Boston last weekend, Patrignelli indicated that the team was a bit fatigued, but Coach Johnson was pleased with the women’s performance on Saturday.

“It was a good, hard effort from those girls. It’s tough going back-to-back weekends. That’s what we did to try to simulate the championship season. They handled it pretty well, so we’ll see what happens when we go to Pre-Nationals.”

In the women’s team scoring, Washington scored 30 points to top second-place Oregon, who finished with 52 points.

On October 19, Oregon will travel to Terre Haute, Ind. — the site of the NCAA Championships — to run at the NCAA Pre-Nationals. Many of the teams expected to qualify for the NCAA Championships in November will run at Pre-Nationals, making it a preview of sorts for the championship meet.

Oregon Cross Country Looks Strong in Boston College XC Invitational

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Oregon Ducks Cross Country
Oregon Ducks Cross Country | (GoDucks)

The men of the Oregon Cross Country team entered the Boston College XC Invitational ranked 12th in the nation, but freshmen Edward Cheserek and Jake Leingang finished 1-2 and the Ducks took first. The women survived a fall from Duck leader Sarah Penney and surged into second place.

“It was a good job by the women to overcome some adversity this early in the season and a great performance by the men to go out and bring home the victory,” head coach Robert Johnson told GoDucks.com. “What an outstanding job by our young Ducks Edward, Jake and Maggie Schmaedick wearing the “O” for the first time.”

In addition to holding the top two spots, the men used a powerful last 1,000 meters to put six guys in the top nine. It was some combination of the elite freshmen leading the pack and Oregon’s veterans keeping up and holding the pack together that gave the Ducks a huge margin of victory. The Ducks took first with 22 points, while Syracuse took second with 69 points.

It was a coup of sorts at the top of the men’s race as No.12 Oregon and No. 9 Syracuse were followed by No. 25 Providence, No. 8 Wisconsin and unranked Northwestern rounding out the top five.

The women’s race followed the rankings much more closely as the No. 3 Ducks took second behind No. 1 Providence. Junior Megan Patrignelli was the leader for Oregon and she picked up the baton right from Penney, taking sixth. The Ducks’ other outstanding freshman, Schmaedick, became the second Duck in the rankings at No. 11. Good teamwork from the Ducks, after Penney’s leg covered in blood from a large gash, was enough to beat out teams with better individual finishes for the second-place trophy.

With this first meet in hand, the men and women of Oregon return home for the the Bill Dellinger Invitational on Oct. 6 at Springfield Country Club.

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