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MailTribune.com
  • Thompson leads nearly perfect day at NCAAs

  • DES MOINES, Iowa — University of Oregon's Lanie Thompson set the school record in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase and Luke Puskedra was fourth in the 10,000 meters to highlight a nearly perfect first day of the NCAA Track & Field Championships in front of 4,052 fans Wednesday at Drake Stadium.
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  • DES MOINES, Iowa — University of Oregon's Lanie Thompson set the school record in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase and Luke Puskedra was fourth in the 10,000 meters to highlight a nearly perfect first day of the NCAA Track & Field Championships in front of 4,052 fans Wednesday at Drake Stadium.
    Oregon's women also advanced English Gardner in the 100 meters, Phyllis Francis in the 400, Anne Kesselring and Laura Roesler in the 800, Kimber Mattox in the steeplechase and the 4x100 meter relay team on to finals. For the men, Mike Berry moved on in the 400 meters, while Elijah Greer advanced in the 800.
    Thompson was in sixth place a few paces behind the lead pack in the first heat when she made her move with two laps remaining. She caught the leaders with a lap to go and then pushed the pace before finishing second to Colorado's Shalaya Kipp. Kipp won in 9:59.18, with Thompson next in 9:59.90.
    The sophomore from High Bridge, N.J., broke Claire Michel's year-old school record of 10:02.55.
    Senior Kimber Mattox was seventh in Heat 1 in 10:08.39 and advanced to Friday's final based on time. Junior Taylor Wallace was 10th in 10:35.76.
    In the men's 10,000 meters, Puskedra was part of a swift lead pack of four runners that broke away from the field midway through the race. The four of Stephen Sambu of Arizona, Chris Derrick of Stanford, Cameron Levins of Southern Utah continued to distance themselves from the field by churning through impressive 67 and 68 second laps. The three pulled away from Puskedra with two laps remaining. Levins won in 28:07.14.
    Puskedra, a asenior from Ogden, Utah, was fourth in 28:24.24, marking his best NCAA showing in his final race as a Duck.
    Earlier in the day, Gardner ran the fastest qualifying time in the women's 100 meters to advance to Friday's final. She got out of the blocks quickly and held on to win her heat in 11.10.
    Gardner was also part of Oregon's impressive 4x100 relay team that ran the second-fastest time in school history, 43.32, finishing second to Texas A&M in its semifinal heat to automatically advance to Saturday's final.
    Oregon was also strong in the 800 meters, where two women and one man advanced.
    Laura Roesler set a big personal-best to finish second in the final heat in 2:02.09, the fifth fastest time in school history. She let Chanelle Price of Tennessee take the race out on a swift pace, before closing with a big kick over the last 150 meters to easily advance to Friday's final. Price won in 2:01.66.
    In the second heat of the 800, Kesselring got boxed in midway through the race, but fought her way out to finish second in 2:02.66 and move on to the final. Freshman Claudia Francis was eighth in her heat in 2:12.74.
    On the men's side, junior Elijah Greer ended up third in a tight battle in heat three, but advanced to Friday's final on time. Erik Sowinski of Iowa won in 1:46.09, Edward Kemboi of Iowa State was second in 1:46.20 and Greer was next in 1:46.22. Sophomore Boru Guyota was seventh in his heat in 1:48.01.
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