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Brianne Theisen and Ashton Eaton to Compete in Jerome Classic

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Brianne Theisen, Ashton Eaton
Brianne Theisen, Ashton Eaton

Former Oregon Ducks track and field stars and the current track and field power couple Brianne Theisen and Ashton Eaton have entered the Jerome Classic next Monday.

Thiesen (Canada) and Eaton (United States) are both Olympic representatives for their respective countries and participated in the 2012 London Olympics last summer.

Eaton, a Bend, Oregon native, is the current world record holder and defending gold medalist in the decathlon, a record he set at the 2012 US Olympic Trials in Eugene almost exactly a year ago.

More than 40 different Olympic athletes from 12 countries will compete in the 30th anniversary of the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic hoping to qualify for to the IAAF World Championship in Moscow, Russia from August 10-18th.

Tickets for the Jerome Classic are being sold at $10 for general admission and $25 for a spot at the finish line.

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Jordan Hasay: Track Academic All-American of the Year

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Jordan Hasay
Jordan Hasay

Let’s make it a double! Former Oregon Ducks track and field superstar Jordan Hasay closes out her glorious collegiate career by earning her second Capital One Academic All-American of the Year honor for Division I Women’s track and field and cross country, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Hasay finished her academic career with a 3.87 GPA. majoring in business administration from the University of Oregon Charles H. Lundquist College of Business. Hasay won the honor back in 2011 when he became the first student athlete to win the honor as a sophomore. She finishes her career with 18 combined All-America awards.

But Hasay was not alone in the honors. Track stars Anne Kesselring and Ben DeJarnette both earned First-Team All-American honors.

Kesselring is a repeat honoree. She boasts a perfect 4.00 GPA in business administration as well and completed her collegiate career this spring. She holds the school record in the indoor mile (4:32.61) and is a 12-time All-American.

DeJarnette, a journalism major with political science and economics minors and a 4.00 GPA, is a first-time honoree. He earned first team all-Pac-12 academic honors this year as well and has one more season of collegiate eligibility remaining.

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NCU’s Stephanie Hescock Repeats as Academic All-American

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Stephanie Hescock (GoBeacons.com)
Stephanie Hescock
(GoBeacons.com)

Northwest Christian track and field athlete Stephanie Hescock is not only a star on the track, she’s also pretty talented in the classroom.

Hescock earned CoSIDA/Capitol One First-Team Academic All-America honors monday, repeating as representative. Hescock has earned CoSIDA/Capitol One Academic All-District honors three times and First-Team Academic All-America for consecutive years.

According to the GoBeacons website, “The 2013 Capitol One Academic All-America program, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performance on the field and in the classroom.”

Hescock was one of four athletes from the Cascade Conference to receive first team honors. The other athletes are Gabrielle Dixson (Concordia) as well Linsie Michels and Hilary Holt who are both from The College of Idaho.

Eligibility for Academic All-America Consideration:

  • Student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00
  • Have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her current institution
  • Be nominated by his/her sports information director.

More than 15,000 student-athletes in NCAA Division I, II, III and the NAIA have been granted CoSIDA Academic All-American honors since the program’s inception in 1952.

On the track this season, Hescock won a third-consecutive CCC Championship in the 10,000m and was runner-up in the same event at the NAIA National Championship.

Hescock, from Drain, Oregon, is a graduate student in the Business Administration Master’s program at Northwest Christian. She currently holds a 3.96 GPA in the program following her completion of an undergraduate degree at NCU with a 3.90 GPA. She was also named Cascade Collegiate Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year earlier this month.

She leaves NCU a CCC All-Academic honoree (7x), Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete selection (5x) and a NAIA All-American (3x). Not too shabby…

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Three Ducks Earn National Titles at USA Championships

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Ashton Eaton (Spokeo.com)
Ashton Eaton
(Spokeo.com)

DES MOINES, Iowa –- Former University of Oregon track stars Ashton Eaton, Matthew Centrowitz and Brianne Theisen each brought home individual national titles at the USA Track and Field National Championships this week.

Eaton, the current world record holder in the decathlon defended his title with a score of 8,291 points.

“It was a good two days,” said Eaton. “It was good to do another multi because it’s been since the (Olympic) Games. I feel pretty good about that. I have quite a bit of confidence. Obviously the high jump was very sub-par, the hurdles and the pole vault, and a lot of that stuff was very much ‘safety.’ If I can score 8,200 with those marks, I think at 100 percent, I’ll be OK.”

Centrowitz claimed the title in the 1,500m with a late surge, finishing with a time of 3:45.17.

“In my head I said, ‘Dominate the final’ and that’s what I set out to do, I didn’t really glance back,” said Centrowitz. “Definitely wanted to make a statement heading to Worlds. I’m in great shape, definitely looking forward to improving on my (Olympic) bronze medal.”

Theisen, a Canadian, brought home honors in her country for a score of 6,233 points in the heptathlon. It was her first national title in the event.

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Ashton Eaton Currently in Second Place at USA Championships

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Ashton Eaton (OregonLive)
Ashton Eaton
(OregonLive)

Des Moines, Iowa – About 1,800 miles away and two time zones over scores over former Ducks track and field stars are making a big splash in a different pond.

Des Moines is the current host spot for the 2013 USA Track and Field Championships, and one particular Duck who is finding quite a lot of success is world record holder and gold medal Olympian Ashton Eaton.

Through five events thus far, Eaton sits in second place in the decathlon as they reach the halfway point.

Eaton’s Events Thus Far:

  • 100 Meter Dash: 10.48 seconds (1st place)
  • Long Jump: 7.59m, 24-11 (skipped his third attempt) (2nd place)
  • Shotput: 15.00 49 2 1/2 (3rd place)
  • High Jump: 1.90 6 2 3/4 (skipped his third attept) (12th place)
  • 400 Meter Dash: 46.89 (1st place)

Eaton has another five events to go to as he trails former Arkansas Razorback track star Gunner Nixon. Eaton needs to finish in the top-3 to be qualified for Team USA and compete in the IAAF World Track & Field Championships. The IAAF World Track & Field Championships will be held in Moscow in August.

Jordan Hasay, a more recent Oregon Ducks graduate is making her professional debut in the championships. She’ll look to qualify in the 10k.

English Gardner made her pro debut as well after forgoing her senior season with the University of Oregon. Gardner won her very first pro event, the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.85. You can see her reaction in the video below.

For a complete breakdown of the events, you can follow the event’s official link HERE and check back in to EDN periodically for more updates.

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Photos: NCAA Track and Field National Championships (Day 4)

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The NCAA Track and Field National Championships came to a close Sunday in Eugene with the Ducks finishing in fourth place on both the men’s and women’s side. Photographer Gary Breedlove highlights the final day of action.

Runners race on Eugene Airport runway

No, the runners weren’t required to take off their shoes and belts before starting the race. And they weren’t pursued by a mob of TSA agents as they raced onto one of the two big runways at Eugene Airport Saturday afternoon. That’s because the roughly 200 runners were taking part …

Photos: NCAA Track and Field National Championships (Day 3)

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It was a big day for the Oregon track and field teams as English Gardner and several other Ducks brought home individual honors. Both the men and women are on the outside looking in with one more day of track action remaining.

Oregon’s English Gardner, Elijah Greer Post Wins for Track

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Oregon track stars embrace in a hug (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)
Oregon track stars embrace in a hug
(Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

Oregon’s English Gardner ran through pain to a first place finish in the women’s 100 meters at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships, edging out UCF sophomore Octavious Freeman. Gardner won in a blazing 10.96 to withstand a late charge from Freeman and LSU standout Kimberly Duncan.

“I heard the crowd (in the last 20 meters),” Gardner said. “I had a little ‘go get em’ at the end from the crowd.”

In the men’s 100 meters TCU’s Charles Silmon managed to improve on the 9.92 he ran in qualifying, finishing in a slightly wind aided 9.89 to win the national championship. Flordia State’s Dentarius Locke and Isaiah Young of Ole Miss each turned in sub-10 performances as well.

Stanford’s Kori Canter turned in another fast time in the women’s 400 meter hurdles, finishing in a collegiate record 53.21, one of many quick times clocked at Hayward on Friday.

“It’s that Hayward Field magic,” Garnder said. “If you run in it you believe it.”

On the field side, LSU’s Damar Forbes finally got that elusive first place finish at the NCAA championships after a string of runner up showings. The Jamaican Olympian sailed 27-04.75 on his second jump of the day and nobody else was within 12 inches.

“I wanted to be a winner,” said Forbes “I was tired of being second. It was hurting me. A lot of people looked at me and said, ‘You’re always second, that’s got to be a good feeling.’ No it’s not. It’s not.”

Another streak was broken in the men’s high jump with Kansas State’s Erik Kynard missing out on what would have been his third straight title. Instead it was Derek Dourin of Indiana who nearly matched a collegiate record, clearing the bar at 2.31 meters and just missing at 2.34.

Oregon's English Gardner holds up her championship trophy (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)
Oregon’s English Gardner holds up her championship trophy
(Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

In the men’s 800 Penn State had two athletes in the top three, but both finished behind Oregon’s Elijah Greer who finished his last two laps as a Duck in 1:46.58.

In the evening’s final event Oregon legend Jordan Hasay ran her last 5,000 meter race at Hayward Field–as a Duck, that is. Hasay was within striking distance of the lead until the last lap and made her move with about 300 meters to go, but Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino made a power move on the back stretch and would leave Hasay — and everybody else — in her dust, winning in 15:43.68, nearly seven seconds ahead of 10,000 meter champion Betsey Saina of Iowa State. Hasay would finish third.

Kansas continues to lead in the women’s team race with Oregon in second. The Ducks are within striking distance but will need a virtually perfect final day to take the team title and complete the Triple Crown.

In the men’s race, USC and Texas are tied for the lead with Arkansas just a point and a half behind. The Ducks sit a distant sixth in the men’s team race, tied with UCLA.

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Leading Mark Lasers Make Debut at NCAA Championships

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The NCAA Outdoor track and field championships were the first live athletic event to feature an in-stadium laser. (Photo courtesy Thought Development, Inc)
The NCAA Outdoor track and field championships were the first live athletic event to feature an in-stadium laser.
(Photo courtesy Thought Development, Inc)

Spectators and athletes at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships were among the first to see Thought Development, Inc laser-line system that displayed leading marks in field events.

Actually, Wednesday’s women’s javelin competition was the first time an in-stadium laser system was used globally in a live sporting event.

“Since the days of Bill Bowerman,” Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna said in a press release, “TrackTownUSA has been committed to enhancing the experience of the athletes and spectators. The technology developed by Thought Development, Inc represents the next step in a long traddition of innovation in TrackTown.”

How it works is actually relatively simple.

A three-man crew — one on the field with radio, one on the roof of Hayward Field’s west grandstand, and one on press row working with a laptop — operate a state-of-the art laser system that displays the current leading mark in field events on the field.

At field level the laser’s inventor, Alan Amron, radios the leading mark to an operator on press row who plugs the numbers into a laptop. A third operator monitors the laser itself on the roof who can shut off the laser if anything goes wrong.

Even if it were to be left on throughout the event, there’s no safety issue with the laser.

“It’s safer than a laser pointer you would use in a powerpoint presentation,” said Larry Weisman, the company’s public relation’s director.

Unlike the first-down lines seen on NFL and college football games however, this line is just as visible on the field and in the stands as it is on television.

“It helps build excitement,” said Greg Litchy, a freelancer assisting Thought Development, Inc with in-stadium operations. “If we had it our way, we’d be leaving it in there when the people jump.”

The NCAA Outdoor track and field championships were the first live athletic event to feature an in-stadium laser. (Photo courtesy Thought Development, Inc)
Here the laser is used for the long jump events
(Photo courtesy Thought Development, Inc)

For the last several months, Litchy has worked with Amron helping to develop the technology, but things have really picked up in the last few weeks. Amron and Litchy did several demos for the NCAA at Hayward in early May and got the green light from Lananna and TrackTown USA CEO Michael Reilly to set up for nationals.

The laser itself is mounted on a customized rig on the Hayward Field grandstand so it can switch easily from one event to another.

For now, the laser is showing just the leading mark, but Litchy says that’s just a baby step. In the future, the lasers could show world records and personal bests in addition to leading marks.

The possibilities go well beyond track, as well.

“I don’t think there is a limit,” Amron said. “I think you could use it in all different sports, it can be used in any delineation of in any markings you need in an area on the floor…Lasers are always being used at night, we’re the first people to really take a laser and start using them during the day for different visual thing. ”

Instrumental in rolling out this new technology were Mark James, a USA Track & Field Foundation Board Member, and Mr. Vin Lananna – also a board member. Mark James vision created the John W. James Endowment in July 2010 (http://usatffoundation.org/News/Archives/2010/2010-07-16.aspx).  To date, more than $160,000 in grants have been issued to track & field athletes in the throwing events.

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