Eugene, OR – April 21 2006 - In what is becoming one of the most exciting years in recent track history in Eugene, the Oregon Invite will play its role as host of many of the top high school, collegiate, and post-collegiate athletes in America this weekend at Hayward Field. The University of Oregon has asked Team XO to invite top athletes from last weekend’s XO Invite, as well as top athletes from around the northwest to compete in XO Elite High School sections in the boys and girls mile, the boys two mile, and the boys and girls 4x400 meter relay in conjunction with the Oregon Invite. These will include some of the top high schoolers in the nation and could produce some of the top prep times in the nation.
XO will have its usual stars out to play including Johnson and Boness in the high jump, Watson, McArthur, and Adeagbo in the horizontal jumps, Soong and Kriz in the hammer, and countless others, but first comes the newest addition to the Oregon Invite, one that innovative Oregon coach, Vin Lananna, has constructed: a Twilight Distance Carnival on Friday night to allow for more heats, larger fields, and the coolness of a spring evening for the distance athletes to take advantage of.
The distance events will be absolutely loaded, bursting at the seams with former Olympians, sponsored athletes, as well as athletes from overseas, and several XO athletes look to take full advantage of that. Max King and Eric Logsdon enter the elite 5000 meter field that will be paced by many of the same competitors King saw at the National Cross Country Championships earlier this season. If you miss a race to grab a hot dog, make sure it’s not this one. Logsdon has already visited Hayward once this season finishing third in the 3000 and looks to be in excellent form. Max King is, well, just visit Team XO’s website to view King’s recent resume that most recently includes his stint on Team USA at the World Cross Country Championships. Also, Dylan Mason enters the men’s 10,000 as his first attempt over the 6.2 miler of the season. XO rookie, Jane Rudkin, has made the long journey from Missouri to compete in the women’s steeplechase; Rudkin is currently ranked 48th in the world among women steeplers. Friday evening will also include the men’s high jump corps featuring Jason Boness, Kyley Johnson, and XO newcomer Chris Nelson.
Saturday morning will see several “B sections” starting at 10am and going until noon. Included in this will be 800 specialists Ross Krempley in the 400 and training partner Kevin Ullman in the 800 who has run four personal records in seven meets since the start of the indoor season. Travis Floeck, in his rookie season with XO, will join Ullman in the 800. Paris Ramsey (200m) and Emily Brown (hammer) will also participate in the morning sections.
Already underway is the men’s decathlon that will conclude Friday afternoon. XO’s Tyler May currently sits in second place heading into the second day of competition. He moved up considerably after the 400 meters, his specialty event, where he clocked a 48.70 to win the event by nearly two seconds.
XO will flex its muscle in the Saturday afternoon field events which will feature Cari Soong and Adam Kriz in the hammer, Leonidas Watson and Colin McArthur in the long jump as well as the triple jump for Watson and Simi Adeagbo, Chris Samuels in the discus and shot put, and Niki McEwen in the pole vault. On the track, XO will be represented by its sprinters, Phil Alexander (200, 400) who will be joined by Ramsey, Krempley, and May in the 4x400 meter relay.
As XO gains support and popularity, thanks largely to the XO Invite, World Cross team member Max King, and numerous other national qualifiers, 2006 looks to be an eye-opening year for the club scene in America as XO chases as many national qualifying marks as it can get its hands on. Much if it begins at the Oregon Invite, so pack a lunch, bring a pillow, and don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen, because once you sit down in the historic stands of Hayward Field, you won’t want to get up until the final tape is broken!