Oregon at Penn Relays

Dual Mile Legs Earn Cheserek Athlete of the Week
Cheserek was named the Penn Relays Men's College Relays Athlete of the Meet for his performance, joining Matt Centrowitz (2010) and Anne Kesselring (2012).

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Courtesy: GoDucks.com

NEW ORLEANS – Oregon freshman distance runnerEdward Cheserek was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I Men’s Athlete of the Week, Monday, after helping Oregon to wins of the distance medley and 4xMile relays at the Penn Relays.

The frosh took off from the lead pack with 300 meters to go for 3:57.98 on his anchor 1600-meter leg to bring Oregon a three-second DMR win, Friday.

He one-upped himself 24 hours later as he ran 3:56.4 with a blistering final 600-meter kick on the second leg of Oregon’s 4xMile relay to blow that race wide open and propel Oregon to a 16:09.67 – the fourth-fastest time in meet history and the best since the meet-record 16:04.54 by Michigan in 2005.

Cheserek was named the Penn Relays Men’s College Relays Athlete of the Meet for his performance, joining Matthew Centrowitz (2010) and Anne Kesselring (2012).

Congrats to @KingCheserek who was named Penn Relays Male Athlete of the Meet.

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Oregon Brings Home Penn Wheel in 4xMile
After winning the DMR, Friday, the Men of Oregon captured the 4xMile title at the Penn Relays Saturday.

Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release: 04/26/2014
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Courtesy: Eric Evans

PHILADELPHIA – Freshman Edward Cheserek was named the Penn Relays Men’s College Athlete of the Meet after helping the Men of Oregon to another victory in the 4xMile relay, Saturday, in addition to a distance medley relay win on Friday.

Cheserek joins Matthew Centrowitz (2010) and Anne Kesselring (2012) as Oregon student-athletes to win the honor. He was awarded the High School Boys Athlete of the Meet in 2012 while a junior at St. Benedict Prep in New Jersey.

“Edward winning the award is a great accomplishment,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “We’ve had a few of those in the past with Matthew and Anne so he’s another one in line with a great tradition of some great Ducks.”

Cheserek ran the meet’s fastest mile split during the second leg of the 4xMile in 3:56.4, a day after he broke open the DMR during the Ducks’ victory, Friday, finishing that mile carry in 3:57.98.

The Ducks were favorites heading into the 4xMile with the 2013 1,500-meter NCAA Champion Mac Fleet, three-time NCAA Champion Cheserek, and 5,000-meter All-American transfer Eric Jenkins. The only member yet to garner national acclaim as a collegian was the formidable freshman, Sam Prakel, who ran a 3:44.67 1,500 last week at the Oregon Relays.

Prakel led off in a tactical first leg, passing off to Cheserek less than a second behind the leader. Cheserek broke away from the pack with 600 meters left, showing his impressive speed and giving Jenkins a three-second cushion. Jenkins increased the Ducks’ lead to 30 meters by the time he finished in 4:01.5, passing off to Fleet who cruised to a split of 4:00.4.

“It was a well-executed race by the guys, and a good plan put together by Coach Powell,” Johnson said. “They put themselves in the right positions to get it done, so kudos for going out there and executing.”

It was only fitting that Fleet carried the baton to victory on the last leg to defend Oregon’s title. The redshirt senior was able to finish his collegiate Penn Relays career with style, picking up his fifth Penn Wheel.  Fleet has contributed to all five Oregon men’s victories in the history of the Penn Relays, starting with a 4xMile title as a freshman in 2010. The San Diego native took a look back with 100 meters left before letting the victory sink in down the home stretch in front of 49,103 fans at Franklin Field and finished with the sixth-fastest time in NCAA history, 16:09.67, almost eight seconds ahead of second-place Stanford.

"I'm really happy to toe the line with my teammates here today, yesterday, and back in 2010,” Fleet said. “It's fantastic racing here at The Penn Relays. You want to run the first lap fast to show that you're getting away. When you're far ahead, you have to stay engaged, suck in the crowd, and enjoy the last lap. It was fun."

The women’s 4x400 team of Claudia FrancisChizoba OkodogbeLaura Roesler and Phyllis Francis took second in the Championship of America, finishing in 3:29.82. The time is the fourth-fastest in the NCAA this season and the eight-fastest in Oregon history.

The Ducks also finished second in the women’s 4x800 Championship of America behind Villanova in 8:22.54. Claudia Francis,Samantha Murphy and Annie Leblanc set the stage before handing the baton to NCAA Indoor Champion, Roesler, who ran the fastest split of the day during her anchor carry (2:01.86) and closed the 15-meter gap on Villanova’s indoor mile champion, Emily Lipari. With 300 meters to go the two were running even, but Lipari had enough left to pull away down the home stretch.  After winning the title in 2012, this is the second-consecutive year Oregon has finished as the runner-up in the event.

The men’s 4x400 team placed third in the final event of the day. Marcus ChambersArthur DelaneyJack Galpin and Mike Berry combined for a time of 3:06.51 which ranks ninth in the NCAA this season and seventh in the Oregon record book.

Freshman Sasha Wallace competed individually for the Ducks and took eighth in the 100 hurdles in 13.85.

Oregon will next compete at the OSU High Performance Meet, May 2, and the Payton Jordan Invitational, May 4.

The spectacular is becoming routine for UO distance star Edward Cheserek; Oregon track & field rundown

Oregon's Edward Cheserek celebrates as he crosses the finish line in the men's distance medley relay at the Penn Relays.(Associated Press)
Ken Goe | kgoe@oregonian.comBy Ken Goe | kgoe@oregonian.com 
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on April 26, 2014 at 9:19 AM, updated April 26, 2014 at 9:22 AM

The legend of Edward Cheserek continued to grow yesterday at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

All the Oregon freshman does is win, as he showed while bringing the Ducks from behind to victory on the anchor leg of the men's distance medley relay.

As UO mid-distance star Laura Roesler tweeted about Cheserek's 300-meter kick at Penn,  "I feel like I was just in a track video game where someone waited to use their last boost til the very end."

Cheserek showed that same unworldly finishing speed while winning individual titles in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships. And don't forget, he is the reigning NCAA cross country champ.

I liked what Oregon distance coach Andy Powell had to say in the post-race news conference.

He noted that Oregon has strong senior leaders in the mid-distances and distances, such as Trevor Dunbar, Mac Fleet and Parker Stinson. They have given Cheserek some older guys to follow in practice, and to learn from.

That has left Cheserek free just to run rather than trying to shoulder the leadership role as a true freshman.

Here is a video of the DMR presser, courtesy of Flotrack.

Ducks Win with Decisive DMR Finish
The win was Oregon's second in the DMR at the Penn Relays, after earning a wheel in 2010. It is also the seventh overall win for the Ducks in the meet's history.

Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release: 04/25/2014
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Courtesy: GoDucks.com

PHILADELPHIA – The men’s distance medley relay is a combined total of 4,000 meters, and Oregon was in a battle for 3,700 of those until the Ducks’ anchor, Edward Cheserek, decided to let loose at the Penn Relays, Friday.

The freshman three-time NCAA champion flew past Stanford’s Michael Atchoo and Kentucky’s Matt Hillenbrand on the back stretch with 300 meters to go in his mile-long anchor leg, increasing his lead with every stride. The Newark, N.J., native crossed the finish line with a three-second advantage on the field in a time of 9:25.40, the fastest in school history which moves Oregon up to the seventh-fastest school in NCAA history. Cheserek’s mile split was clocked at 3:57.98.

“Any time you get a chance to win a Penn Wheel is a good thing,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “To come here on the East Coast and showcase those guys in the DMR is excellent. Coach Powell put together a great strategy and it worked perfectly.”

NCAA Champion Mac Fleet started the race in the 1,200 (2:53.95), passing the baton off in a close second behind Stanford. Oregon’s 400-meter All-American, Mike Berry, took the lead during the second leg (44.72) and Boru Guyota ran his 800 leg in 1:48.77, handing off only meters behind the Cardinal.

The three seniors set the stage for Cheserek, who performed what has become a signature for the freshman, sitting in second before unleashing a hefty kick.

“We have such a good, deep team,” said associate head coach Andy Powell.  “Really the credit goes to our seniors. When you have good leadership you go a long ways.”

The win was Oregon’s second in the DMR at the Penn Relays, after earning a wheel in 2010. It is also the seventh overall win for the Ducks in the meet’s history.

Marybeth SantPhyllis FrancisJenna Prandini and Jasmine Todd posted the best 4x100 finish at the Penn Relays in Oregon history, finishing second in 43.33. The Ducks were passed in the final exchange by now six-time consecutive champion, Texas A&M, which won in a world-leading time of 43.11. Oregon’s time was only two hundredths of a second off its season best at Mt. SAC (43.31).

“It was a good chance to race some of the people we’ll see later on in the season and a good learning experience for us,” Johnson said. “Now we’ll go back to the drawing board and see if we can clean a few things up.”

The men’s 4x400 team of Marcus ChambersArthur DelaneyJack Galpin and Mike Berry advanced to the Championship of America with the eighth-fastest time of the day and a season-best of 3:08.35.

Sasha Wallace competed individually for Oregon, finishing seventh in the 100 hurdles heats. The freshman crossed the finish line in 13.42 to finish second in her heat and earn a spot in the Championship of America, Saturday.

Oregon will resume competition at the Penn Relays during the final day, Saturday. The men’s 4xmile relay will start the day for the Ducks at 10:25 a.m. PT.