Parker Stinson

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

Oregon’s Parker Stinson shines in 10,000 at Pac-12 Championships

Oregon track and field’s Parker Stinson turned in an impressive performance at the Pac-12 Championships Saturday.

The senior competed in the men’s 10,000, finishing second to Stanford’s Joe Rosa after a dead sprint to the finish line. Rosa crossed the line at 29:16.71 while Stinson finished with a final time of 29:18.33.

“It would have been really cool to be a Pac-12 champion, it was something I dreamed about as a freshman,” Stinson said. “It was really great to have that opportunity today.”

Heading into the meet the field looked much stronger as multiple All-Americans were expected to compete. Pac-12 defending champion Lawi Lalang, star Oregon freshman Edward Cheserek and Washington Sophomore Aaron Nelson were all glaring omissions.

For Cheserek, the decision was made to race the 3000 and 1500 instead of the 10K.

“I like the 1500 to test my speed,” Cheserek said after his qualifying race. “I am always a 10, 5K guy, but I came to try it and help the team out.”

Lalang also chose to compete in the 1500 over the 10K. The senior finished Saturday’s qualifying heats with the third fastest time on the day (3:47.77). Lalang holds the Pac-12 meet record, which he set last year.

Nelson most likely chose not to run the event as he competed in the men’s 3000 steeplechase on Saturday instead. Nelson won with a time of 8:49.09.

With the truncated field Stinson found himself entering the event with the top time this season, with a previous best of 28:51.98. Though he didn’t get the win like he had hoped, Stinson ran a near perfect race.

“I wanted to execute a plan to stay disciplined,” Stinson said.

Quickly after the race began Stinson found himself separated from the main group as he broke off with two Colorado runners. Stinson ran well early, looking calm and composed, as he was content to stay on the heels of the leaders.

At the 17 minute mark of the race, the front group had grown to a total of four athletes, with Rosa joining the leaders. Their group pulled further ahead from the field as Stinson continued to look impressive.

The final breakaway happened with 300 meters to go after Rosa jumped out on a sprint to the finish. Stinson wasn’t too far behind as he still had a powerful kick of his own.

“Its definitely the fastest I have ever closed,” Stinson said. “I don’t know if at 300 I should have moved up just a tiny bit so he couldn’t get the jump on me, because I felt like once he got out I kept that gap pretty even. I was just a little slow to react.”

Stinson could never close the gap, settling for second.

“He is a senior, and any chance you get to run in your last Pac-12 meet is awesome for him to be able to place out,” head coach Robert Johnson said. “Tough break that he couldn’t close out the gap there and get a W to go out with style.”

Parker is scheduled to run the 5000 tomorrow, though he is now focused on training for Nationals.

Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur

Oregon indoor track and field: MPSF championship preview

This weekend the Oregon men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams will travel to take part in the 22nd Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s championship meet at the University of Washington’s Dempsey indoor facility.

“Each competition we do we take seriously,” Oregon’s Jenna Prandini said. “MPSF is just another qualifying round for a lot of people. We are going to try and do the best we can this weekend, but our ultimate goal is to get prepared for nationals.”

The MPSF features three conferences (Pac-12, Big West and West Coast) represented by 17 universities, including first-time participants USC and Cal State Fullerton. 17 women’s teams will compete for the championship while 12 men’s teams will do the same.

Coming into the meet, the Oregon women’s team is ranked No. 1 in the nation with 201.28 points while the men are fifth with 99.54 points. The Oregon women have won three of the last four MPSF titles while on the men’s side it was Arizona State, that was able to win it all last year.

The MPSF championship will serve as a last-chance qualifying meet for several Oregon athletes as the team looks ahead to the NCAA Indoor Championships.

“There are a couple of bubble people who probably need to hold fast or improve slightly,” Oregon head coach Robert Johnson said. “If we can get these things done, Oregon is batting a thousand.”

Some of the Oregon athletes who are looking to improve their chances of qualifying include Chancey Summers in the high jump, Edward Cheserek in the 3K, Mac Fleet in the 800 and Brett Johnson in the mile.

If Oregon can successfully use the MPSF championship to send more athletes to nationals, then the team will improve its chances to score more points. For the women, this means a chance to win a fifth consecutive national indoor title.

“If I stay true to what I always say, I haven’t really thought much about it,” Johnson said when asked about the possibility of claiming yet another indoor championship. “Right now the most important thing for us is this indoor season and the Mountain Pacific. If we go into this year trying to repeat what we did last year, we are going to miss something.”

The athletes who are comfortable with their chances of making to the NCAA Indoor Championships will use this weekend’s meet as a chance to fine-tune their skills and improve their marks.

“It is a huge weight off of your shoulders,” middle distance runner Parker Stinson said in regards to already qualifying for nationals in the 5K. “Now I can focus on training for nationals.”

The MPSF will commence Friday at noon (PT) with the women’s weight throw.

Follow Chris Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur

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 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 Takes Early Lead After Day One

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Competing in a men’s dual meet against the second-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks at the Oregon Relays this weekend, the fourth-ranked Ducks jumped out to an early 17-1 advantage with most of the competition scheduled to begin at noon today.

Using impressive efforts by Parker Stinson and Greg Skipper to lead the way, Oregon took the top two spots in both dual events yesterday–the 5000 meters and men’s hammer throw. Skipper got things going for the Ducks in the hammer throw, taking home first after throwing for an impressive distance of 62.80 meters on his final throw of the day. The Oregon freshman had reached a distance of 62.56 meters on his previous throw. He would also take home a victory in the non-dual meet hammer throw with a distance of 64.64 meters.

(Gary Breedove)
(Gary Breedove)

Miles Walk and Tanner Harris capped the impressive event for Oregon, finishing in 2nd and 3rd to give the Ducks a 1-2-3 finish in the hammer throw. Throwing for a distance of 56.42 meters, Walk bested teammate Harris for second, with Harris reaching a distance of 54.84 meters.

Devin Randall finished fourth in the event for the Razorbacks, with his best throw reaching a distance of 44.75 meters.

Leading the way for the Ducks later in the competition was Stinson, who paved the way for a 1-2 finish by Oregon in the 5000 meters. Separating himself from the other runners, Stinson finished with a time of 13:59.83, 10 seconds faster than teammate Matthew Melancon, who recorded a time of 14.09.37.

Solomon Haile of Arkansas placed third with a time of 14:13.08.

Competing in the non-dual meet portion of the Oregon Relays, the Ducks recorded wins from Jordan Hasay, Alyssa Monteverde, Lauren Crockett, Sammie Clark, Maggie Pietka, Ryan Pickering and Ryan Hunter-Simms.

Hasay found a relatively easy win in the women’s 5000 meters, finishing with a time of 16.01.54. Though Bridget Franek of Oregon Track Club Elite would finish just .04 second behind her with a time of 16:01.59, the two runners bested the rest of the field by 21 seconds.

Monteverde delivered one of the more thrilling performances of the night, dashing her way to an impressive victory in the 100 meter hurdles. Finishing with a time of 13.41 seconds in the event, Monteverde took first and also recorded the second-best time in the event in school history. Brianne Theisen currently holds the school record with a time of 13.30.

Another victory for the Ducks came in the women’s high jump, as Crockett set a personal best in the event to lead her to the win. Topping out at 1.81 meters (5-11.25), Crockett’s clearance also moved her up to sixth on the all-time list at Oregon.

Clark took home a win in the women’s pole vault, clearing a height of 3.80 meters (12-05.50) to see herself over Anna Jensen of Lane, who reached a height of 3.50 meters (11-05.75).

The final win for the Oregon women on day one of the Oregon Relays came in the form of Pietka, who finished with a distance of 11.72 meters in the women’s triple jump to see herself finish in front of Michele Turney of Oregon State.

Competing in the non-dual meet portion of the Oregon Relays, Pickering bested Layne Nixon of Arkansas in the men’s 10000 meters, finishing with a time of 29:48.52. Tate Kelly of Gonzaga finished in third.

Also competing in the non-dual meet portion was Hunter-Simms, who placed first in the men’s shot put with a distance of 16.30 meters. Finishing in second was Ron Perkins, a sophomore at Oregon who threw for a distance of 15.78 meters.

Competition on Saturday will begin at 10 am.

All photos are property Gary Breedlove