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Hurdling the Rest of the Competition
4/13/06 - - by Nathan Senner

Bianca Mathabane, XO Invite and State Hurdle Champion

At this year’s XO Invite there are many events full of outstanding athletes and reigning state champions, but none can compare to the spring hurdle events. The women’s 100m and men’s 110m high hurdles are the events to see this Saturday at Hayward field, sporting multiple stars including Bianca Mathabane and Tyler McBee.

EUGENE - 4/13/06 - Every great track meet has its showcase event: the event where the anticipation ripples through crowd as the participants begin doing their strides. It’s the event where the announcer has to take the longest time announcing each competitor’s names: “And now, the defending state champion from…” And it’s the event that proves who the real stars are. Come away from a high-powered event with the victory and no one will ever question whether or not you can perform under pressure. Without just such an event to draw the spotlight, a track meet would soon lose its thrill and its fans.

At this year’s XO Invite, taking place at 11am on Saturday, April 15th at Hayward Field, almost every event seems to be a showcase event. There are so many returning XO Invite champions, so many returning state champions, and so many state championship finalists that it’s hard to determine which event is most deserving of the nod. Yet even among such excellent competition, the sprint hurdles clearly outshines other events.

In the girl’s 100m hurdles not only is last year’s XO Invite champion and 4A state champion Bianca Mathabane (Jr., Lincoln) returning, but so is last year’s XO 2nd place finisher and 1A state champion, Emily Holding (Jr., Damascus Christian), and 17 of the 21 other participants from the 2005 XO Invite. If that weren’t enough, included amongst those 17 returnees are also the 2nd and 3rd place finishers from the 2005 4A championships, Lindsay Zimmerman (Sr., Summit), and Irene Johnson (Jr., David Douglas). And for good measure, add in Maddie Miller (Jr., Catlin Gabel), the 2005 2A runner-up. No other event returns that many of last year’s participants or state championship finalists. Talk about a loaded field!

Not to be outdone, the boy’s 110m hurdles field boasts the double 4A hurdle state champion Tyler McBee (Jr., Beaverton) and the 2A 110m hurdles state champion Marshall Ackley (Sr., Nyssa). In addition the boy’s race includes five other racers returning from the 2005 XO Invite and three other state championship finalists. There are also some new faces on the scene who have appeared on the Oregon early season Top 10 performance list and will be appearing at the 2006 XO Invite: Jim Goldner (Sr., Westview), Nate Dillow (Jr., Marist), Kersee Lind (Jr., Hermiston), and Shawn Miller (Jr., West Linn). Given all of these great performers, the title is anything but wrapped up.

If you happen to not to be able to be at Hayward around 6:40 pm on Saturday however, you won’t have missed everything; there are plenty of other star-studded events to come and watch. You can still catch the 3000m steeplechase featuring Kenny Klotz (Sr., Central Catholic) who won the 2005 Nike Team Nationals in cross-country; 4A state champion Nate Anderson (Sr., Benson) showing off his speed in the 200 and 400; or the clash of 4A 1500m champ, Sheryl Page (Sr., Sandy), with freshman phenom and 1500m state leader Alyssa O’Connor (Fr., Summit) in the 800 and 1500m.

There are myriad of events worth watching this coming weekend at Hayward Field, but if you are looking for the most bang for your buck, be along the home straightaway at 6:40. If you’re lucky, we’ll even let you be part of the hurdle crew.

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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