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The Place To Be April 15th
4/12/06 - - by Nathan Senner

Nate Anderson, 2005 400 meter National leader

The 2006 version of the XO Invite has expanded to play host to 43 schools and over 1300 athletes. The meet will showcase 6 of the 8 team state champions from last year as well as 141 individual finalists from the 2005 state track and field championships.

EUGENE - 4/12/06 - Last year the team competition at the XO Invite at Hayward Field came down to the final leg of the final event, the girl’s mile relay—it took the anchor leg from Benson outlasting fellow 4A school Gresham to be able to claim the 2005 XO Invite Team Championship by a mere two points over rival Summit High School. Last year’s event also saw a new national record set for the girl’s high school javelin when Newberg senior Rachel Yurkovich, now a freshman at the University of Oregon, launched a throw of 176 feet 5 inches. That toss eclipsed the previous national mark by nearly two feet! What can this year’s event do to top all of that? The answer, quite simply, is a lot.

The 2006 XO Invite, which takes place at Hayward Field at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 15, will play host to 43 schools from around Oregon, including six of last year’s eight team state champions. The meet also spotlights the return of 12 of last year’s XO Invite individual champions, as well an astounding 141 finalists from the 2005 state track and field championships. And that’s not all: as an added bonus, the top finishers in some of the day’s distance, hurdle, and relay events will be invited back to compete in the XO Elite Sections. Those sections will be contested the following weekend, April 21-22, in conjunction with University of Oregon’s Oregon Invitational at Hayward Field.

The question is, with all of these immensely talented teams and athletes where does one even begin? Certainly any discussion of this year’s crop of stars has to center on returning state champions, and the XO Invite showcases many of them, including Nate Anderson (Sr, Benson), the defending 4A 400m state champion and Tyler McBee (Jr. Beaverton), the defending 4A 110m and 300m hurdles double champion. In order to garner this year’s XO Invite hurdle crown, however, Tyler will have to take on the defending 2A 110m hurdle state champion Marshall Ackley (Sr, Nyssa)—who also happens to hold the 2A pole vault title— and the defending 2A 300m hurdles champion Brendan Douglas (Sr, Catlin Gabel). Tyler Poppe (Sr, Churchill), who was the winner of the 4A high jump, will be taking on the 2A runner-up, Jake Redfield (Sr., Oakland), who was also the 2A champ in the long jump. The distance races will showcase 2A star Bradley Taylor (Sr, Oakridge) who is the defending 2A 3000m champion, Nike Team Nationals champion Kenny Klotz (Sr., Central Catholic) and Jacob Goertz (So, North Clackamas Christian) who last year won the 1A 3000m title as a freshman.

The girl’s side is no less stellar. The star hurdler Bianca Mathabane (Jr, Lincoln), who was the double 4A champ in the 100m and 300m hurdles, will be competing in an incredible hurdle field that also includes quadruple 1A state champion Emily Holding (Jr, Damascus Christian) and 2A runner-up Maddie Miller (Jr, Catlin Gabel). Also making appearances are last year’s 4A 1500m champ, Sheryl Page (Sr, Sandy), and 3000m victor, Claire Michel (Jr, Clackamas), as well as 3A triple jump title-holder, Emily Gilespie (Sr, Marist), 3A 100m victor, Laundrea da Silva (Sr., Marist), and 3A shot put winner, Katherine Tripp (Sr., Douglas).

A large part of the uniqueness of the XO Invite, however, is its focus on the team aspect of track and field. Athletes are invited not because of their individual accomplishments but because of their team’s accomplishments. The XO Invite is committed to trying to bring all of Oregon’s best teams together in the same meet. This means the 1A girl’s state champion team from Damascus Christian will be squaring off with the girl’s 3A champs from Marist and the 4A runners-up from Benson. At the same time boy’s 1A champs North Clackamas Christian will be trying to take down 2A champs Nyssa and 4A champs Summit. At no other event during the entire year do schools from all of the classes have a chance to go head-to-head, and sometimes surprising things happen. Last year 3A school North Bend just edged out 2A Oakridge for 9th place, both handily beating a host of 4A powers. And not too far behind in all of this, in 13th place, was tiny 1A school Damascus Christian. Who can say what upsets are in store for this year, but if it’s anything like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, it will be some stormy seas for the big schools!

With a little help from the weather and a huge, rowdy Hayward Field crowd, this year’s XO Invite looks to be another rollicking good time. With any luck at this time next year we’ll be talking about the tight finishes and new records set at this year’s event, topping even last year’s show stoppers. And what with this many amazing athletes and stacked teams, how can it be anything but the must see event of the Oregon high school track and field season?

2005 VIDEO  
Boys 800 - 2005
"The Perri and Anderson Battle" (from the 2005 XO Invite)

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2005 XO Invite Highlight Video -- Year 2
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Team XO - Second career for track athletes
EUGENE - They're former all-Americans, Pac-10 champs, and National champions who train and compete at Hayward field, but they're not Ducks, not anymore. What started as three guys and a boxes of t-shirts and a Dream, has turned into the track and field phenomenon "Team XO". "Its almost got a cultish following... || Watch Video

2006 Promo Poster

Want to learn more about the team that puts on this meet?
Go to the Team XO homepage
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Team XO was founded and created by former University of Oregon Track Athletes. We are located in Eugene, Oregon, home of historic Hayward Field and Track Town USA, as all of you already know. The team is comprised of primarily post collegiate athletes that train in the state of Oregon or graduated from the University of Oregon. Team XO has been created for elite post collegiate Track & Field / Cross Country athletes looking to continue their athletic career, while competing at the highest possible level. Although creation remains in the early stages, the vision is clear. We look to provide a home and unified team atmosphere where driven, elite athletes can work together to achieve success both individually and as a team. We are always looking to expand our team with even more talented athletes that share the same drive and passion that it takes to excel at the highest level. In doing this, we look to become the premier Track & Field Team in the Nation.

Off the track, field and trail, we try and extend our vision of the way we feel our sport should be. We host an elite team high school track meet at Hayward Field called the XO Invite, direct and coach a fun low cost athletic kid’s camp called the XO Athletic Camp, and volunteer hundreds of hours a year in our community.







This year's Invited Teams
Large Size Schools
David Douglas
Lewis and Clark
North Salem
South Eugene

Medium Size Schools
Catlin Gabel

Small Size Schools
Damascus Christian
Horizon Christian
Portland Waldorf

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