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UO runner Acosta third at NCAA indoor meet

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — University of Oregon sophomore A.J. Acosta finished third in the men's mile run on the final day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday in Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center.

Acosta was unable to catch the leaders down the stretch despite running a final 200-meter split of 27.41 seconds.

The Ducks accumulated points from each of their three men's entries on the final day, finishing with 11 team points and in a tie for 19th place with Baylor and Idaho. Arizona State was the winner with 44 points, followed by Florida State (41) and Texas (34).

The Oregon women benefited from a three-way tie for eighth in the pole vault to score .33 points and a tie with UCLA for 62nd. The Sun Devils also captured the women's team championship with 51 points, with LSU second (43) and Michigan third (39).

Acosta, who finished 13th in the event a year ago, posted a time of 4:04.90, but was unable to keep Texas from claiming the top two spots in the race. Senior Leonel Manzano recorded a winning time of 4:04.45 for the Longhorns, followed by junior teammate Jake Morse's second-place effort of 4:04.88.

In the heptathlon, Ashton Eaton of Oregon bounced back from a disappointing Friday in record fashion, accumulating a personal-best second-day total of 2,689 points to finish sixth (5,676) and contribute three points to the Ducks' scoring cause.

Beginning the day in 12th place, the Bend sophomore accounted for personal-bests in all three events Saturday. In the 60 hurdles, he scored 992 points with a second-best mark of 7.96; he cleared 15-7 in the pole vault; and he finished the 1,000 meters in 9:40.90.

The men's 4x400 relay overcame a near-mishap on the track on their third leg of the race to finish second in their heat and seventh overall with a time of 3:07.89.

The Oregon women didn't fare quite as well. Their best effort was by pole vaulter Melissa Gergel. The freshman finished in a three-way tie for eighth place at 13-51/4.