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XO Invite Field Loaded and Ready!
4/26/05 -

HAYWARD FIELD, EUGENE – Leadership. Accountability. Encouragement. Hard work. Dedication. Many ingredients go into creating a successful track and field team. There are no last second shots from mid-court that find their way to the net. No “Hail Marys”. No home runs. Just really good athletes. Good men. Good women. In what has become the premier team competition in the state, the XO Invite, now in its second year, uses coed scoring to decide which school has the best overall track and field team. “It’s the only meet like it in Oregon,” says Team XO Director and XO Invite Meet Director Ross Krempley, “the teams really have to do their homework to figure out where they can pick up the most points.”

The XO Invite by the numbers is staggering: Five of the eight State champion teams from 2004 are participating; twelve of these teams landed top five spots at State; over twenty District Champions will attend. It also is the only meet where 2A and 1A schools have the opportunity to compete at the legendary Hayward Field, and is the only meet outside of the State Championships for 4A/3A schools to do the same.

Last year’s event saw 3A power Siuslaw knock off eleven 4A schools. 2A Oakridge scored higher than six 4A and 3A schools. With this year’s increased 2A/1A participation, including 1A State champions Damascus Christian (girls champ) and North Clackamas Christian (boys champ), upsets could very well be in store for unwary larger schools.

As the 2004 XO Invite saw great rivalries born, so will it see great rivalries renewed. 2005 XO Invite poster boys Nathan Ingrao of Sandy and Nate Anderson of Benson will meet once again after a thrilling 400 meter race in last year’s meet where Anderson narrowly out leaned the Sandy star by just three hundredths of a second. Ingrao has another Nathan to worry about in the sprints, but this one is Nathan Crabtree of Summit. Crabtree currently ranks first in the state in the 100 and second in the 200, while Ingrao ranks first in the 200 and second in the 100 according to Oregon high school track stats website, Factor in the wild card Ryan Lewis of 1A Damascus Christian who is currently ranked fourth in the 200 and sixth in the 100 among all classes. This stuff only exists at the XO Invite. In team rivalries, Siuslaw, whose men finished one spot behind the North Bend men at the 3A State meet, bettered the 3A powerhouse, at the XO Invite last year. Both teams both return this year.

The race for the Mt. Hood Conference Championship leads straight through the XO Invite. Co-district champions in 2004 Sandy and Barlow will square off once again with Gresham and David Douglas. Sandy has already faced Gresham and Barlow in dual meets this year. Against Gresham, they split the wins, one for each team by similar margins. Against Barlow, Sandy won the men’s match but conceded the women’s by a larger margin. In this tightly contested race, watch for Sandy’s Ingrao, Sheryl Page (800, 1500), Devin McDaniel (1500, 3000), Forest Grove’s Kayleen McDowell (200, 400, 800) Lauren Sexton (discus, javelin), and Gresham’s second place State 4X400 meter relay team (which returns all four athletes).

The 1970s and early ‘80s were the glory days for the South Eugene boys track team. On their way to winning twelve State titles in thirteen years, they took seven in a row, the greatest streak by any Oregon high school team regardless of class or sport. This year, the women Techmen of Benson will attempt to tie that record. However, with the loss of some key seniors and the departure of hurdle sensation Bianca Mathabane to cross-town rival Lincoln, Coach Leon McKenzie knows that this year may be the most difficult one of all. “If our girls pull off a State title, it will be the greatest one yet,” said McKenzie in an interview posted on

The State champion men’s and women’s teams will certainly be a target for other coed team combos looking to place well at the XO Invite. Among them, North Bend, arguably the next best coed team in the state, behind only 4A Benson, earning Far West District titles for both teams as well as their impressive State showing. Siuslaw also managed a double district win and a third place finish at 3A State. Also, never count out 2A power Nyssa who are the 2-time defending Wapiti League champions and placed their boys and girls fourth and ninth respectively at 2A State. 4A schools Summit and Putnam both placed in the top five at the 2004 XO Invite and will be returning and looking to improve on those results. Nor can you ignore Sandy, who comes in stacked with great athletes on both sides.

But this meet was made for the underdog. This meet was made for Andrew Perri of 2A Oakridge who demolished a loaded 800 meter field in last year’s edition of the meet, clocking a 1:53.92 to earn the third fastest 2A time ever. This meet was made for smaller schools like Damascus Christian who took the 1A girls title and placed the boys seventh at last year’s State meet and North Clackamas Christian who came within one point of knocking off 4A Franklin at last year’s XO Invite.

So take everything you know about track and field and set it aside for one day. Team XO has reinvented team competition and the Invite is here to stay. Put on some sunscreen and bring your bells and clappers because Track City is about to make some noise. And for the second year in a row, “if you love track, you can’t miss this meet.”

Kevin Ullman
XO Press Announcer

2005 Promo Poster

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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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