Ducks add women sprint stars to mix
EUGENE — Led by some experienced transfers and some highly regarded high schoolers, the Oregon track and field program added 18 new faces to its 2017-18 roster on Wednesday.
They’ll join a previously announced group of 11 recruits to give the Ducks 29 newcomers this school year.
Atop the list are a trio of freshmen sprint stars from California in Shae Anderson, Jasmin Reed and Lauren Rain Williams. They are expected to help the Oregon women bounce back from the loss of Deajah Stevens, Alexis Guster and Ashante Horsley.
Anderson (Norco, California) was the 2017 state champion in the 400 meters and the 300-meter hurdles, and her 400 time of 51.99 seconds was the second-fastest in the country last season. She was the 2017 California Gatorade Girls Track and Field athlete of the year.
Williams (Lakewood, California) has a wind-aided 22.44 in the 200 —the third-fastest high school time ever recorded — and is a two-time winner of the New Balance Nationals Indoor 200.
Reed (Carson, California), has PRs of 11.57 in the 100 and 23.39 in the 200. She competed in both events at the U.S. Junior Outdoor Championships in June.
The UO women also added hurdler Kaylah Robinson of Richmond, California. Robinson has a wind-aided 100 hurdle PR of 12.98.
Among the 10 transfers is three-time Big East champion redshirt senior Sabrina Southerland of Georgetown, who competed in the NCAA 800 in 2016 and who owns a personal-best time of 2:03.10.
Judy Pendergast is a sophomore transfer from Harvard, where she was the Ivy League indoor champion in the 5,000 and second in the outdoor 5,000. She has a 15:52.64 PR.
Redshirt sophomore Carmela Cardama Baez was 73rd at the 2017 NCAA cross country championships for Florida State.
Oregon also added former Oregon State standouts Vanessa and Kerissa D’Arpino, who starred at North Valley High.
Vanessa D’Arpino is the Beavers’ school record-holder in the 100 (11.70), 200 (23.60) and 400 (54.14). Her twin sister Kerissa D’Arpino is coming off a redshirt season due to injury. Both will be juniors outdoors and seniors indoors.
The Oregon men are also adding some depth to their sprint group. Orwin Emilien, a junior transfer from Western Texas College is a three-time junior college all-American with a 400 PR of 46.03.
Rieker Daniel of Oregon City High was the 2017 Class 6A champion in the 200 and runner-up in the 100.
Freshman Rocky Rainey, who recently left the Oregon football team, has PRs of 10.25 in the 100 and 21.15 in the 200.
The Duck men are also getting some distance additions. James West is a redshirt junior out of Loughborough University in England with PRs of 3:39.65 in the 1,500 and 3:58.69 in the mile. Connor Clark, a redshirt senior from Dartmouth, is only eligible for the cross country season.
Oregon’s other additions are Churchill alum Spenser Schmidt, a junior transfer from Portland State with a long jump PR of 24-7; freshman sprinter Myles Webb from Glendale, California; freshman long jumper Robert Brooks from Phoenix; and redshirt sophomore transfer JoJo Ananouko from the University of San Francisco.