Sept. 4, 2010


Courtesy of Oregon Athletics

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Freshman Ben DeJarnette and senior Zoe Buckman led the Men and Women of Oregon to victories at the cross country season-opening John Frank Invitational Friday night at Avery Park.

“It was a good race for us because it was the first time to see the men and women get out and run,” said associate head coach Andy Powell. “The women looked strong. They did a nice job of running together in a pack.”

Buckman’s win merely punctuated how impressive Oregon’s women were in controlling the 4,500 meter race. All six Duck runners moved to the lead on the second lap and finished first, second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh as No. 5 Oregon won the race with 16 points. The Portland Pilots were second with 57 points, followed by Oregon State (59) and Portland State (103).

Buckman, from Canberra, Australia, won in 16:00.6, with sophomore Sarah Penny second at 16:01.6.

“It was a fun race,” said Buckman. “It was nice to get out there and run with my teammates and work together.”

Lanie Thompson, a redshirt freshman from High Bridge, N.J., finished third in 16:02.6 in her Oregon debut.

“Finally!” said Thompson. “I’ve waited so long. It felt good to get out there and be a part of this team.”

The Ducks also counted a fourth-place finish from junior Brownwyn Crossman in 16:03.2 and a sixth-place showing from sophomore Taylor Wallace (16:11.6). Sophomore Becca Friday took seventh in 16:16.2 to round out Oregon’s impressive showing.

For the men, DeJarnette looked solid in his Oregon debut. The Mechanicsville, Va., native moved into the lead just over halfway through the four-mile course and closed with a strong push over the final 600 meters to win in 19:36.1 and hold off teammates Chris Kwiatkowski and Danny Mercado.

"It was my first win since I got here, so it’s good to have that milestone,” said DeJarnette.

The men, tied for third nationally, scored 22 points to defeat No. 8 Portland, which had 53, and Portland State (59).

"It was great seeing Ben (DeJarnette) look strong and Chris Kwiatkowski looked good for us too, and those are two guys who haven’t really had the opportunity to run as much in an Oregon uniform,” said Powell.

Kwiatkowski, a junior from Bellingham, Wash., posted the best finish of his career as the runner-up in 19:38.8. Mercado, a senior from West Covina, Calif., was next in 19:39.3. The Ducks also counted a seventh-place finish from senior Ken Scoggin in 20:00.6 and a ninth-place finish from freshman Mitchell Hunt (20:01.9).

Sophomore Walker Augustyniak from Eugene, Ore., also had a top 10 showing for Oregon in 20:09.2.

The teams now head off to training camp in Sunriver, Ore., for three weeks before returning to competition at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 2.