NCAA Champions, Runners-up Open 2008 Season with Pre

EUGENE, Ore. – Two Olympians and 11 All-Americans will be present as the defending NCAA Champion men’s team and national runner-up women’s team open their 2008 cross country seasons with the Pre’s Trail Run Thursday at Alton Baker Park. The women will run against Oregon State and Portland State at 6 p.m., while the Men of Oregon and Portland State will race at 6:30 p.m. After the men’s competition, there will be a kids’ fun run at 7 p.m., which will be followed by an autograph and photo session with the 2008 teams.

Additionally, fans will be able pose for pictures with the 2007 NCAA men’s championship trophy and women’s second place trophy. The 2008 cross country team posters will also be given out Thursday night.




The theme of the meet, "Meet the Champions," is certainly apt as two Olympians and 11 All-Americans will be on hand at Pre’s Trail on Thursday signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. Among the returning letterwinners for Oregon will be 2008 Olympians Andrew Wheating and Galen Rupp, both All-Americans, and fellow All-Americans Nicole Blood, 2007 Pac-10 Champion Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott, A.J. Acosta, Alexandra Kosinski, Kenny Klotz, Daniel Mercado, Diego Mercado, Melissa Grelli and Lindsey Scherf, the latter two having transferred to Oregon for this season.

Another way to meet the champions is that all seven runners from Oregon’s 2007 men’s NCAA title team -- Rupp, Kiptoo-Biwott, Diego Mercado, Daniel Mercado, Klotz, Acosta and Scott Wall -- return for 2008, while six-of-seven return for the women: Blood, Kosinski, Zoe Buckman, Bria Wetsch, Zoe Nelson and Brooke Giuffre. Sarah Pearson was the only graduate off the 2007 team for the women.


Details: 4,850 Meters (two loops)

Teams: Oregon, Oregon State, Portland State

Oregon Entrants: Among those entered for the Duck women include junior All-American Nicole Blood, junior Brooke Giuffre (another member of the 2007 NCAA runner-up seven and a 2008 NCAA Regional qualifier in the 3,000 meter steeplechase), sophomore Claire Michel (school record-holder in the 3,000 meter steeplechase), sophomore Betsy Bies (2007 Pac-10 scorer in the 10,000 meters) and local runners junior Lauren Zaludek (Elmira/Elmira HS) and senior Tamara Starodubtseva (Eugene/Churchill HS).


Details: 7,000 Meters (three loops)

Teams: Oregon, Portland State

Oregon Entrants: Among those entered for the Duck men include sophomore All-American Daniel Mercado, senior Chris Winter (2008 NCAA Championships qualifier in the steeplechase who was third in that event at the Pac-10 meet last season), sophomore Isaac Stoutenburgh (2008 NCAA Regional qualifier in the 3,000 meter steeplechase), sophomore twins Eric and Matt Dettman and, making his Oregon debut, redshirt freshman Chris Kwiatkowski.


After the men’s race, kids 13-and-under are invited to participate in a brief fun run on Pre’s Trail that will conclude at the start/finish line.


The Pre’s Trail Run cross country course is set up for a 2,000 meter loop, with additional length at the start/finish line. Teams will start at the Duck Pond and Canoe Rental Shed in Alton Baker Park. From there, they will run northeast by the Duck Pond before turning south and then east along the Canoe Canal. Runners will then cross the Canoe Canal at the footbridge adjacent to Leo Harris Parkway just south of Autzen Stadium. Teams will next run west along the Canoe Canal and past the Cuthbert Amphitheater before winding their way north back to complete the loop. On their final loop, runners will make a hard left back toward the Duck Pond to the start/finish line. A PDF of the course map is attached.


Spectators are encouraged to park at the Science Factory and walk down Pre’s Trail to the start/finish line.


Suggested viewpoints are the start/finish line, the bank of the Canoe Canal across from the Cuthbert Amphitheater, the footbridge adjacent to Leo Harris Parkway south of Autzen Stadium and the S-Curve just west of the Amphitheater.