Molly Grabill

Oregon Ducks Lead #NCAATF Championships Entering Finals

The Oregon Ducks Men added to their lead on Thursday with Dakotah Keys third place finish in the Decathalon extending a wide margin even wider to twenty six points over Florida, in second place with sixteen team points. Thursday was another day of solid performances for the Oregon Ducks, this time with the Women in […]

Oregon Ducks Lead #NCAATF Championships Entering Finals – Autzen Zoo – Autzen Zoo – An Oregon Ducks Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and more.

Ducks Look NCAA Ready After Weekend Meets

The Ducks split up this past weekend, sending a squad to the Oregon State University High Performance Meet while another group was sent down to Stanford for the Peyton Jordan Invitational. Over at OSU, the Ducks took wins in many events....

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 “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 “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 nets a pair of victories behind Crevoiserat, Watson

Both of Oregon’s cross country teams came away with a team victory on Saturday with each squad featuring several impressive individual season debuts.

Racing for the first time in nearly a month, the No. 3 Oregon women headed north to the University of Washington to participate in Saturday’s 6,000-meter race that featured No. 4 Stanford, No. 13 Villanova and No. 15 Washington. Led by senior Lindsay Crevoiserat, the Ducks overcame a first-place individual finish by Stanford’s Elise Cranny and edged out the Cardinal by a final score of 48-55.

Crevoiserat built on her seventh-place finish at last month’s Bill Dellinger Invitational by placing fourth in Washington with a time of 20:29. Freshman Frida Berge impressed in her Oregon debut by stopping the clock at 20:40, good for an eight-place finish. Junior Molly Grabill made her season debut for the Ducks and finished just a second behind Berge to give Oregon three runners in the top nine.

A trio of Stanford runners finished immediately after Grabill, but sophomores Maggie Schmaedick (20:48) and Alli Cash (20:49) rounded out Oregon’s top five with 13th and 14th-place finishes. Junior transfer Brianna Nerud finished seconds later (20:51) to secure 15th place and Abbey Leonardi notched a 20th-place finish with her 20:56 time.

Also making their season debut for the Ducks were Annie Leblanc (33rd) and Megan Patrignelli (34th). Both runners were members of last year’s Oregon NCAA team and figure to be integral parts of this year’s squad. Full results of the women’s race can be found here.

Meanwhile, the Oregon men took the team title at the Charles Bowles Invitational in Salem, OR behind a fourth-place finish by Cole Watson. Most of Oregon’s top runners took this week off from racing after last week’s win at the Battle in Beantown, but the Ducks boasted their depth on Saturday and come away with the win.

Watson, a senior from Rogue River, OR, navigated the 8,000-meter course in a time of 24:08, while Tanguy Pepiot finished fifth in 24:21. Pepiot, a senior who transferred to Oregon last year from France, finished 58th at last year’s NCAA Cross Country Championships and is Oregon’s second-highest returnee. It was the first race of the season for both Cole and Pepiot.

Jeramy Elkaim locked down a sixth-place finish (24:23), while junior Matt Jablonski’s seventh-place finish (24:27) and freshman Bryan Fernandez’s ninth-place finish (24:30) rounded out Oregon’s top five. The Ducks won the meet with 16 points, finishing a far cry ahead of NCAA Division II Chico State, who scored 40 points.

They didn’t score any points for the Ducks on Saturday, but a pair of Oregon runners came away with a 1-2 finish in Salem. John Gregorek, an Oregon senior who ran the race unattached, took home the win in 23:53, while freshman Blake Haney finished runner-up with a 23:54 time. Full results of the men’s race can be found here.

Both the Oregon men and women will take next weekend off before heading to Terre Haute, IN for the Pre National Invitational on Oct. 18.

Follow Chris Mosch on Twitter @chris_mosch

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

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 men run away with Boston College Cross Country Invitational, Women finish second

This weekend kicks off the first big weekend of collegiate cross country, with several high-profile meets around the country pairing up top-ranked teams. The Oregon squad traveled to Boston this weekend for their first ever appearance at the Boston College Cross Country Invite.

The Oregon women came to Franklin Park as the defending NCAA champions and were pitted against Providence – the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s current No. 1 seed. Along with the No.3 Oregon women, Friday’s field included ninth-ranked Cornell and 24th-ranked Boston College.

The Providence squad comfortably took the women’s team race and was led by a 1-2 finish from seniors Emily Sisson and Laura Nagel. Sisson traversed the 5,000-meter course in a winning time of 16:51, with Nagel finishing seven seconds behind at 16:58. Rachel Sorna (5th; 17:17), Catarina Rocha (7th; 17:28), and Erin Murphy (36th; 18:09) made up the remaining of the Friars’ scorers – who concluded the day with 50 points.

The Oregon women were led by senior Megan Patrignelli, who stopped the clock at 17:22 – good for a sixth-place finish. The next three Ducks crossed the finish line in close proximity, as freshman Maggie Schmaedick (11th; 17:33) and sophomores Molly Grabill (12th; 17:34) and Abbey Leonardi (17th; 17:35) finished within two seconds of each other. Senior Sarah Penny (40th; 18:13) rounded out the top five for the Ducks, while junior Maria Elbon (46th; 18:20) and freshman Therese Haiss (51st; 18:23) finished as the final two Oregon harriers.

The Oregon women came away with second place, scoring 85 points. Cornell finished in third place with 101 points, while Boston College scored 110 points to edge out Wisconsin by one point for fourth place.

On the men’s side, the Ducks made easy work of a solid field and were led by a pair of talented freshman making their Oregon debut. Edward Cheserek was billed as the top distance recruit of 2013 after winning two Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships and the 2013 Gatorade National Cross Country Runner of the Year. Cheserek hadn’t lost a prep race since 2010 and continued his winning ways in his first collegiate meet, finishing the 8,000-meter race in 24:11 alongside teammate and fellow freshman Jake Leingang (2nd; 24:11).

The rest of the Oregon men weren’t far behind Cheserek and Leingang, as junior Ryan Pickering finished in fourth place at 24:14, with sophomore Matthew Melancon (24:18) and juniors Jeramy Elkaim (24:20) and Daniel Winn (24:20) finishing 7-8-9 overall. Senior Parker Stinson finished in 18th place, clocking in at 24:42. Junior and Northeastern transfer Eric Jenkins didn’t lace up for Oregon, but is expected to be a top scorer for the team this year after a strong outdoor track season.

The men of Oregon attained an impressive 22 points, with Syracuse finishing in second place with a 69-point score. Rounding out the top four teams were Providence and Wisconsin, with 81 and 88 points, respectively.

Oregon cross country starts 2013 season with win

The Oregon men’s and women’s cross country teams kicked off 2013 in Fairview, Ore. at the PSU Vikings Classic Friday evening. The defending champion Oregon women’s team started the road to defending their title with a win in the dual meet, beating Oregon State 22-33, Portland 16-30, and Portland State 15-45. The women’s team came in to Friday’s meet ranked third in the country after losing three members of their championship team to graduation. Junior Megan Patrignelli came across first, followed by Oregon teammate Molly Grabill.

On the men’s side, number 12 Oregon placed two runners in the top three with Ryan Pickering finishing second and Daniel Winn third. Eighth ranked Portland won the meet, however, beating Oregon 25-31. The Ducks were victorious against Portland State, 15-45.

Oregon’s next meet is September 27 in Boston’s Franklin Park, site of the Boston College Invitational.