Home | Contact Us | IAAF World Championships | U.S. Track & Field | Community News, Features & Profiles | Links | About Steve

US CHAMPIONSHIPS: NBC Sports Disappoints on Day 4
US CHAMPIONSHIPS: Coverage of Field Events Improves on Day 3
US CHAMPIONSHIPS: Day Two Coverage Review
US CHAMPIONSHIPS: NBC Sports Gold Coverage of US Championships
OLYMPIC TRIALS - Huddle Gets the Double at the Olympic Trials
OLYMPIC TIRALS - Coach Gags Last Go-round at the Trials
OLYMPIC TRIALS - Favorites Survive Semis in 1500
Olympic Hopefuls Turn to New Ways of Fundraising for Support
OLYMPIC TRIALS - A Short Day for Orji in the Triple Jump
OLYMPIC TRIALS - Merritt Ready for Double after Impressive 400 Win
OLYMPIC TRIALS - Trials Race Walk Ends in Disappointment for Gray
OLYMPIC TRIALS - 20K Race Walk Takes Center Stage on June 30 in Salem
PRE CLASSIC - Flawless Harrison Leaves Hayward with an American Record
PRE CLASSIC - Prefontaine Field Events Follow Form Chart

Ducks off to a flying start at Oregon Preview
By Steve Ritchie
March 20, 2010

Jordan McNamara
EUGENE - It wasn't the PAC-10 championships or the NCAA meet, just the Oregon Preview, an icebreaker for UO and many other local college teams, but a little bit of a big meet feel crept into the meet at Hayward Field today.

Like when Jordan McNamara kicked on the homestretch passing an OTC Elite runner to win the 3,000 meters in an eye-opening time of 7:53. McNamara is a guy Duck fans have been pining for, hoping to see him take his place with Wheating, Centrowitz, Acosta, etc. the past three years, and it looks like he finally might show what he is capable of in 2010. If healthy, he has the kind of talent that could make him a threat to score in the 1500 or the 5000 at the NCAA meet in June. The smile on his face at the end of the race was bright as the Oregon sun on this SoCal kind of day.

Zoe Buckman had her moment in the sun today, too. Buckman is a student-athlete from Australia and has had some good days as a Duck, but has also turned in a few head-scratchingly poor performances. In the 1500 meters she benefitted from a perfect pace set by OTC Elite runner Sally Kipyego, one of the greatest collegian distance runners ever. Buckman couldn't match Kipyego's finishing kick, but she hung close for most of the race and recorded a surprising time of 4:12 and change - good for 4th all-time on the UO list. Like McNamara, Buckman could make some noise at the NCAAs and might just be be the difference in a close team race.

OTC Elite runners, Sally Kipyego, Geena Gall and Jemma Simpson

What else? It was cool to see Amber Purvis run the 400 for just the second time outdoors as a Duck. She blew the other runners away in a seemingly effortless performance. Her 53.96 broke the meet record and will also move her up the UO list, but it really looked like sub-53 or even sub-52 is not far off for this impressive sprinter, should she and her coaches choose to move her up in distance more often.

Perhaps the most encouraging of all for Oregon fans was the demonstration by Matt Centrowitz that he is back to 100% just in time for the outdoor season. Centro cooled his heels in the pack during a slow-to-middlin' 1500 pace, then shot to the lead and held it for the win with a 54-second last lap. Running against several accomplished OTC Elite runners, notably Christian Smith and Pete Phifer, Centrowitz looked as good as he did before suffering a stress fracture last spring at the worst possible time
- in the prelims at the NCAA meet.

If today was any indication, it should be a great season at Hayward for local track fans. The expectations for a national championship - or two - are there, and Buckman, Centrowitz, McNamara and Purvis showed these hopes are realistic. What a ride it should be, capped by the NCAA Championships at Hayward in early June. I was there for the last title the UO won at home in 1984 and it was amazing. It could happen again in 2010!

Check back soon for more thoughts, analysis and athlete quotes.


Featured archived articles:
Nick Symmonds Takes 6th Place in Berlin 800 Final

Nick Symmonds was in perfect position with 100 meters to go in Sunday's 800 meter final at the World Track & Field Championships... (more)

Mt. Angel Woman Helps Keep Olympic Hopefuls On Track in Eugene

What does it take to be an
Olympic athlete? For most
athletes who reach that elite
level, it takes years ...

More Women Running - Going the Distance

No one participating in or
cheering on runners at the
Homer's Classic 8K on August
8, will be surprised that there are women running in the ...

Ian Dobson Races to Third Place at Trials and Makes U.S. Olympic Team

Pacific University Library Director Marita Kunkel was in the stands
at Hayward Field in Eugene last Monday night... (more)

Nick Symmonds Advances to 800 Final at World Championships

A major deluge hit Olympic Stadium in Berlin an hour before Nick Symmonds was scheduled to run his semi-fina... (more)

©2017 • All Rights Reserved • No part of this site may be reproduced without express written permission. Web design by IrishLemons.com

create counter