EUGENE, Ore. - Duck rookies won eight events to lead an Oregon sweep of the Pepsi Team Invitational Saturday before 5,501 energized fans at Hayward Field.
The third-ranked women won with 205 points, followed by Nebraska with 195.5, No. 16 Stanford with 143.5 and Washington with 112.
The No. 10 men claimed the title with 195 points, with No. 8 Nebraska next with 181 points, Washington with 159 and No. 9 Stanford with 121.
The Oregon athletes came out, competed and won, said Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. It's an exciting time right now, these young kids are going out and succeeding, they're doing great.
Even the Duck veterans took notice. In fact, as men's hammer winner Jordan Stray was talking with reporters about how impressive the Oregon newcomers had been performing on Saturday, freshman English Gardner blazed right behind him on the track in winning the women's 200 meters.
Our freshmen have been stepping up, said Stray, the hammer winner at 214-2. Mike Berry in the 400 meter race with 45 seconds is amazing for a freshman. It's great to see the young ones come out, make a difference and win.
Gardner's breakout performance included wins in the 100 and 200 meters in addition to her anchor leg on the winning 4x100 meter relay team. She won the 100 in 11.62, which was the fifth-fastest time in school history. She set a personal-best in winning the 200 in 24.06.
She then joined with Mandy White, Amber Purvis and Lauryn Newson to win the 4x100 relay in 44.59, a time that ranks No. 5 in school history.
I am my own worst critic but I will get better it just takes time, said the Voorhees, N.J., native. I just have to be patient.
I am always trying to out do myself, regardless of the size of the meet. If there's 1000 fans in the stand or only 2, I am always giving my best.
Berry was just as impressive for the men, dusting the field by nearly two seconds in winning the 400 meters in 45.79. That was fifth-fastest time in school history. He also anchored the 4x400 meter relay team which locked up the team title for the Duck men by winning in 3:10.93.
I wanted to PR today and my biggest thing was just to win the meet, contribute and do my best, said the Seattle, Wash., native.
Other rookie winners included freshmen Boru Guyota in the men's 800 meters, Laura Roesler in the women's 800 meters and Lanie Thompson in the women's 3,000 meters steeplechase, and transfer Steve Finley in the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase and Justin Frick in the high jump.
Guyota, a native of Ethiopia, led for most of the 800 meters and held off Russell Brown of OTC Elite and Duck teammate Elijah Greer in a thrilling three-wide finish at the tape. Guyota timed a personal-best 1:48.65, followed by Brown in 1:48.82 and Greer in 1:48.87.
I was looking for my teammate Elijah (Greer) and tried to stay where I was at until the last 400 meters, said Guyota. At 400 meters I felt good and decided to take it.
Roesler was also involved in an 800 race that came down wire. She and teammate Anne Kesselring leaned at the tape simultaneously, and Roesler got the win by .01. She timed 2:06.66, with Kesselring next in 2:06.67.
The Fargo, N.D., native also anchored Oregon's winning 4x400 meter relay team, joining Devin Gosberry, Purvis and Phyllis Francis to run the 10th-best time in school history, 3:36.87.
Thompson was a surprise winner in her first career steeplechase, pulling away after the final barrier to clip Nebraska's Martina Barinova by half a second. Thompson finished in 10:12.09, which was the second-fastest time in school history, with Barinova next in 10;12.45.
I ran this race with a good pace, this was my first time doing this event so I didn't want to go out and die, said the High Bridge, N.J., native. I loved it! I can't wait to do this event again, now that I know what I am capable of.
Finley, a transfer from Virginia running his first steeplechase as a Duck, took the lead early and cruised to a win in 8:52.04. Frick, a transfer from Princeton, was clean through his first five attempts in the high jump and won by going over 7-0.25/2.14m on his first attempt.
Not to be outdone, the Oregon veterans claimed their share of points for the Ducks as well.
For the men, Matthew Centrowitz and A.J. Acosta set the tone early by winning the 5,000 and 1,500 meters, respectively. Centrowitz and teammate Danny Mercado pulled away from Nebraska's Brendan Gregg on the last lap for a 1-2 finish. Centrowitz won in 13:56.65, with Mercado next in an outdoor personal-best 14:03.48.
In the 1,500, Acosta was impressive in pulling away for a win in 3:46.99. Freshman Cole Watson was second in 3:48.25, as the Oregon men collected 32 points between the 5,000 and 1,500.
David Klech ran the ninth-best time in school history to win the 110 hurdles. He crossed in a personal-best 13.97. Klech also joined Berry, Bryan Harper and Greer on that winning 4x400 relay.
Freshman Tyler Pinkney jumped a personal-best 50-2.5 for a runner-up finish in the triple jump.
For the women, Jordan Hasay, suddenly a team veteran as a sophomore, won a thrilling women's 1,500 meters, clipping a hard-charging Katie Flood of Washington by a quarter of a second. The Arroyo Grande, Calif., native crossed the line in 4:18.61, with Flood at 4:18.80.
Purvis ran the fourth-fastest time in school history in winning the 400 meters in 52.80.
Junior Bronwyn Crossman set an :18 personal best in winning the 5,000 meters in 16:31.42.
Senior Jamesha Youngblood captured the long jump at 20-2.5.
Both pole vault competitions saw records set. In the women's competition, Katerina Stefanidi of Stanford cleared 14-4/4.37m to break Becky Holliday's 2003 record of 14-3.75. In the men's vault, Scott Roth of Washington tied his own meet record by clearing 18-0.5/5.50m