tracktown - Page 2

Two Ducks Earn Silver Medals at Track and Field Championships

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Matthew Centrowitz
Matthew Centrowitz

MOSCOW — Two Duck track and field alums had big days in the IAAF World Tack and Field Championships, both finishing with silver medals representing Team USA. Middle distance runner Matthew Centrowitz competed in the 1,500m, while sprinter English Gardner was part of the women’s 4×100 meter relays.

Centrowitz crossed the finish line with a final time of 3:36.78, just behind first-place finisher and defending world champion Asbel Kiprop. It was a slow start, and Centrowitz started to get stuck in the pack before finally making his move on the last leg.

“I’m sitting on the inside, can’t get out. I’m starting to panic, half focus,” Centrowitz said to the Associated Press. “I figured there would be a gap to open up. Fortunately, there was.”

And his father, Matthew Centrowitz Sr., was there to witness the moment.

“Oh man, I’m really proud,” Centrowitz’s father said moments after the race. “It’s the highlight of his life. A silver medal in worlds? Just incredible.”

As for Gardner, Team USA finished with a time of 42.75 seconds, initially putting the team in third place. However, the French team was later disqualified for passing the baton outside of their designated zone. So… make it two silvers for the Ducks and Americans.

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NCU Beacons Women’s XC Picked to Finish Second, Men Sixth

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NCU Beacons Cross Country
NCU Beacons Cross Country
(GoBeacons)

The NCU Beacons cross country women and men’s teams are nearing the commencement of their respective 2013 seasons, and with that the release of the Cascade Collegiate Conference projections.

The women, with back-to-back NAIA national appearances are picked to finish second, the highest preseason ranking in school history for any team in the CCC coaches poll. The College of Idaho Coyotes are earned nine of ten first place votes and are the lone team ahead of the Beacons.

As for the men, following a sixth-place finish last season they are expected to have similar success coming in at sixth in the coaches poll. NCU returns six runners from last year’s team while adding two freshmen and one transfer for 2013.

Both teams kick off their seasons on September 6th in the Viking Classic at Westmoreland Park in Portland, Oregon.

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Matthew Centrowitz Advances at World Championships

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Matthew Centrowitz
Matthew Centrowitz
(Associated Press)

MOSCOW — Nike Oregon Project middle-distance runner Matthew Centrowitz qualified for the 1,500m final at the world championships on Friday, finishing in 3:35.95 with the second fastest qualifying time. Centrowitz only trailed Nixon Chepseba of Kenya, who finished just ahead of Centrowitz with a time of 3:35.88.

Centrowitz ran for the University of Oregon breaking numerous records including the 4 x mile record on May 10 with fellow Oregon teammates Andrew Wheating (3:59.60), Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott (4:05.21) and Galen Rupp (3:58.93).

Centrowitz has competed professional since he announced he was going pro on November 29, 2011, forgoing his last season on the University of Oregon track and field team.

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George Walcott Named NCU Beacons Track & Field Head Coach

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George Walcott
George Walcott
(NCU Athletics)

George Walcott has been named the head coach of the NCU Beacons men’s and women’s track and field programs, effective immediately.

Walcott is concurrently serving as the track and field head coach for Churchill High School, where over 12 years he’s coached nine individual state champions and over 60 district champions. Along with the individual accolades, Walcott has also been at the helm for two state and district titles.

“I am truly excited about this job because it gives me an opportunity to be a part of something very special,” Coach Walcott said. “I get to build a program from the foundation, and that foundation begins with Jesus Christ as the chief corner stone. What more could a true believer ask for. I’m extremely excited because I know that the Lord is going to use our track program to change many young people’s lives for his glory.

“I know that at this stage of my life, NCU is exactly where the Lord wants me to be. I had determined before the high school track season was over that this coming season would be my last year coaching at Churchill. My intention was to focus my attention and energy on my training business, but God has other plans and brought this opportunity my way. The more I prayed and thought about it, the more I began to realize that NCU is a great fit for me. I sense that the Lord is doing a great work here and I most surely want to be a part of his great work.”

Before his time at CHS, Walcott also had coaching stops at Stanford and the University of Oregon, both in assistant roles. Walcott’s Christian background and strong connections to the track community make him a strong choice to lead the program.

“We are very excited to bring Coach Walcott into the NCU Athletics Family,” said Corey Anderson, NCU athletic director. “George comes to us at a time in his career where he is more than prepared to lead NCU in the expansion of our track and field program. George brings a great amount of experience, energy and faith with his coaching pedigree in the sport of track and field.”

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Track Power Couple Falls Just Short of Double Gold

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Brianne Theisen-Eaton
Brianne Theisen-Eaton
(Associated Press)

Shortly after bringing home gold, decathlon world-champion and newly wed husband Ashton Eaton turned fan as he watched his wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton try to win her own gold medal. Unfortunately, Theisen-Eaton came up just short in her gold medal quest, earning silver honors in the IAAF World Championships.

“I’m way more proud of her than myself and she vice versa for me,” Eaton said. “It’s cool to be in the same event and be successful at the same time and be able to travel around the world together.”

Despite coming just shy of the double gold, it’s still quite the accomplishment. These two former Ducks are easily the most dominant couple in the track community, and are quickly making a case for best athlete couple for any sport.

“I’ve always watched him get his medals and think, ‘I wonder what that feels like?'” Theisen-Eaton said. “Now I’m getting a little taste of it.”

These two are set to take the world stage by storm. Eaton, of course, has already had quite the incredible professional career. He’s an Olympian and world-record holder, and now Theisen-Eaton will embark on her own pro career, and they might have to get a bigger house for all the incoming hardware.

Now that the track power couple is done with the IAAF World Championships, what’s next? Maybe a break for a honeymoon?

“We’re contemplating on the honeymoon, because now would be the perfect time to go lay down on the beach somewhere, but if we laid down on the beach, I just shut my eyes, and in 10 minutes, he goes, ‘How much longer do you think we’re going to lay here?'” Theisen-Eaton said. “If we’re going to do something, it has to be something where we’re out doing activities, because he can’t sit around for too long.”

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Ashton Eaton Brings Home Gold at IAAF World Championships

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Ashton Eaton
Ashton Eaton
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

MOSCOW – Ashton Eaton is one ridiculous athlete. The Bend, Oregon, native and former University of Oregon star kept his honor as world’s greatest athlete with a gold medal finish the decathlon at the IAAF World Championships.

“It feels good. It was the last thing I had left on my list to do,” Eaton said. “Now I’ve done everything there is to do in multi-events.”

And also competing is fellow Oregon alum, and Eaton’s wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton of team Canada. She is competing in the heptathlon and is a favorite in the event.

“I’m way more proud of her than myself and she vice versa for me,” Eaton said. “It’s cool to be in the same event and be successful at the same time and be able to travel around the world together.

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English Gardner Posts 10.94 in 100-Meters

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English Gardner
English Gardner
(Associated Press)

MOSCOW – Former Oregon Ducks track and field star English Gardner posted a time of 10.94 in the 100m dash at the IAAF World Championships. Her time was tops of the event, as she was the only woman to put in a time under 11 seconds.

“Today just gave me a little bit more confidence,” Gardner said in an article by the Oregonian. “It woke me up a little bit, let me know I’m still in the hunt, I’m still in the game, and I’m ready to rock ‘n’ roll.”

Garner will have more opportunities to shine for the Americans with semifinal action on Monday. The American and Jamaican sprinters are the early favorites.

“I just want to have fun, enjoy the moment,” Gardner said. “I have nothing to lose and all to gain, and so I’m just going to sneak in there and maybe steal a couple of spots or maybe a medal. I’m just going to go out there and have fun.”

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Oregon Athletes Excel at IAAF World Championships

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Nick Symmonds
Nick Symmonds

A pair of Oregon athletes, Zoe Buckman and Nick Symmonds, will continue on to semifinal competition at the IAAF World Championships after winning their heats Sunday.

Buckman, running for Australia, completed the women’s 1,500 meters in 4:06.99 to win her heat of the preliminary event. She beat out the United States’ Jessica Simpson by less than a full second, with Simpson running a 4:07.16 time. Buckman’s was the third-highest time of the day and qualifies her to compete in Tuesday’s semifinal, though she said she’s ready to compete for Thursday’s final.

“I think I’m in a real striking position,” she said to The Oregonian.

She will be joined by Mary Cain of the U.S., who is being trained by former Duck distance runner Alberto Salazar.

Symmonds, who competes with Oregon Track Club Elite, says his strategy was to jump out — not wanting to have to fight for a spot late. He and the other two Americans competing in the men’s 800 all qualified, with Symmonds’ 1:46.90 being the slowest of the bunch. He won his heat though and will run Tuesday as well.

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Eugene Marathon Moving to Late July for 2014

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Eugene Marathon
Eugene Marathon

The 2014 Eugene Marathon will look a little bit different than in years past. Next year’s Eugene Marathon will be held in July, not in April.

The new date will be July 27th in response to the IAAF World Junior Championships, which will finish its six-day meet on the same day. The Eugene Marathon/half-marathon is intended to be a celebration of the running community and inspire more to compete.

“As people come in for the track meet, they’ll get to watch people finish the marathon,” Eugene Marathon founder Andy Heily said to the Register Guard. “The whole idea is create that overlap between track and field and road racing, and really celebrate running.”

And it’s all about creating more of a track connection into the already strong TrackTown community.

“From the inception, our mission has been to reinforce TrackTown USA as a mecca for running,” Heily said. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that.

“We have one of the fastest and most scenic marathon courses in the country. Twenty percent of our participants qualify for Boston. The community is absolutely amazing and the fan support is incredible. Participants always talk about that.”

Of course the major question will be how the change in date will impact the runners weather-wise. It’s pretty common knowledge that the weather in July is much warmer than April, but Heily says he and the Eugene Marathon team is well aware of this and don’t think it will impact the race.

“The average morning temperature in July in Eugene is 56 degrees,” race director Richard Maher said. “By 10 a.m., it’s still in the low 60s.”

“The demand is there,” Heily added. “A lot of fit people have been running all spring and early summer, and they’re ready to run a fast marathon. What an amazing opportunity if I’m living in Atlanta, Georgia, and I come out to Eugene, Oregon, to be a part of this incredible community event. Watch a track meet and run on one of the fastest courses in the country.”

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LCC, UO Alum Jordan McNamara Runs Sub-4 Minute Mile

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Jordan McNamara
Jordan McNamara
(OTC Elite)

Former LCC and University of Oregon track star Jordan McNamara set a PR in the mile this week, running a time of 3:52 at the Emsley Carr Mile.

According to a report from the LCC website, the “Emsley Carr Mile is part of the IAAF Diamond League Series held at London’s Olympic Stadium.”

McNamara began his collegiate career with the Titans and was named the 2006 NWAACC Cross Country champion.

McNamara was also a 3-time NWAACC track & field champion in the 1,500, 5k and 10k events in 2007, and would transfer to the Ducks.

With the Ducks he’d have an All-American career.

Following his time in college, McNamara began his professional career which has included time with Oregon Track Club elite.

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