Oct. 3, 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Alexandra Kosinski's second place finish and Matthew Centrowitz' fourth-place run led Oregon's contingents at the fourth annual Bill Dellinger Invitational, held Friday under mostly sunny conditions at the Springfield Country Club.

The Dellinger also marked the Oregon debut of heralded freshman Jordan Hasay, who did not disappoint in a sixth-place run as the Duck women's No. 2 finisher. Overall, the women of Oregon placed five runners among the top 15, while the men had three among the top 11.

"It was a good effort on the guys' side for so early in the season," said Oregon Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. "We have a good team, but they'll have to progress with the season. They'll have to step up, especially the underclassmen. Danny (Mercado) and Matthew (Centrowitz) both did a good job. In cross country, the first race is hard. We'll be ready for the regionals, nationals, and Pac-10s.

"Jordan Hasay did a great job for a freshman," said Lananna. "She followed the race and she'll be even better later in the season. We have a lot of good pieces and it all really comes down to putting them together."

Women's 5,000 Meters

Placing five runners in the top nine, No. 5 Villanova made a strong statement by winning the Bill Dellinger Invitational with 22 points.

No. 2 Oregon came in second with 41 points, while No. 14 Baylor followed with 86. Texas-El Paso took fourth with 109 points and Colorado State rounded out the top five teams with 131.

Villanova junior Sheila Reid won the race with a time of 16:22.92, as she kicked just enough at the end to edge Oregon's Alexandra Kosinski, who crossed the line in 16:25.75.

"I went to pass (Reid) but she had one more little gear," Kosinski said.

Running unattached, Tara Erdmann finished in third in 16:29.51 with Villanova All-American Amanda Marino fourth in 16:30.76 and the Wildcats' Nicole Schappert in fifth in 16:33.82.

Jordan Hasay, the heralded rookie from Arroyo Grande, Calif., thrilled the crowd with a sixth-place finish in 16:39.71 and was the top freshman in the field.

"It was exciting wearing the Oregon uniform for the first time," said Hasay. "After two miles, everyone took off and split. It was a good effort on our side. We've been training really hard. It's a huge PR for me."

The Ducks also counted top-15 finishes from senior Lauren Zaludek (12th, 16:59.83), sophomore Claire Michel (13th, 17:02.53) and senior Nicole Blood (15th, 17:09.60).

Just more than three minutes into the race, Kosinski and Blood paced the lead group through the first kilometer.

After the second kilometer, Kosinski and Blood remained in front with Hasay nipping at their heels in third and UTEP's Risper Kimaiyo in fourth. The leaders finished the first mile at 5:19.

At the halfway mark of the race, Villanova had five runners in the top 12, Oregon had five runners in the top 15 and Baylor had five runners in the top 30.

Almost 13 minutes into the race, with one lap to go, three Villanova runners were in the front four with Kosinski also in the mix.

"We have been training really hard," said Kosinski. "This race showed us where our weaknesses are and what we need to work on as a team."

Men's 8,000 Meters

Alabama's Tyson David and Julius Bor finished first and second overall and the No. 9-ranked Crimson Tide took the team title with 53 team points.

David crossed the finish line in 23:37.71 while Bor followed in 23:38.38. David's time ranked as the eighth-fastest in course history, while Bor checks in at No. 10.

No. 12 Brigham Young, led by Miles Batty's 23:39.61 showing which was good for third overall, placed second with 63 team points and No. 1 Oregon took third overall with 71 team points, led by Matthew Centrowitz's fourth-place finish in 23:39.87. No. 8 Portland finished just two points behind Oregon for fourth and Villanova placed fifth with 99 points.

"The first race is always a rush," Centrowitz said. "I know we're all confident that we'll bounce back. I learned as a team everyone has bad days but you've just got to go with it as long as we move forward and we just get back to it at practice."

The Ducks also saw a solid performance from junior Danny Mercado, who finished eighth in 23:44.40, while sophomore Luke Puskedra placed 11th in 23:53.96. Junior A.J. Acosta (23rd, 24:16.50) and senior Diego Mercado (25th, 24:18.77) rounded out Oregon's scoring.

After the first lap, the Ducks had five runners in the first 20 with Puskedra, Kenny Klotz and Danny Mercado pacing the lead pack.

The leaders finished two miles in 9:24 with Portland's Alfred Kipchumba taking a small advantage.

Alabama pushed ahead 12 minutes into the race, leading Oregon, BYU and Portland at the halfway point. The Crimson Tide's Bor was the lead runner.

The lead pack was 20-plus runners deep and four wide coming down the stretch at the end of the second lap. The three mile time for the leaders was 14:08.

Heading into the final lap, Puskedra and Kipchumba paced the pack, but Alabama had four runners in the lead group. Batty joined the top three alongside Kipchumba and Puskedra heading into the final half mile.

In the final 400 meters, David and Bor pulled ahead to claim the top two spots, as Batty charged hard for third.