Oregon Relays recap - YouthRunner.com
Written by Leo Collins
After over a month of rain, cold & hail Oregon runners & track fans finally were treated to fine weather conditions & the XO Invitational, which was combined this year with the University of Oregon Relays. Elliott Jantzer of Phoenix backed up his victory in the 3K on Friday with a sterling effort in Saturday’s 1,500. Through the first three laps it appeared to be anyone’s race with a pack of runners in contention including Nathan Shellman of Sage Ridge & Tim Costin of Springfield but Jantzer sprinted away from his competitors to claim a victory by two seconds while Shellman & Costin finished behind him.
In the girl’s 1,500 the race boiled down to a battle between Alexandra Jones of St. Mary’s, Nichole Cochran of Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma) & Alyssa O’ Connor of Summit. In Friday’s 3K Cochran had set a blistering pace with a first 200 in 33 & a 400 in 70 & change and paid the price, and Jones ran a fine race to claim victory. On Saturday Cochran was content to let others do the work & sat back off the pace. With a lap to go she unleashed a formidable kick racing the last lap in 64 seconds to win with a time of 4:34. Jones claimed 2nd in 4:37 & O’ Connor, coming back from an injury last fall, placed third.
The girl’s 800 went to Bianca Martin of Westview who edged Kema Harvey of Lincoln. Janelle Everetts placed third. The race among the guys in the 800 lost a bit of its luster, when Taylor Morgan, who had won the steeplechase on Friday dropped out early. Morgan felt the recurrence of a twinge in his calf, the result of an early week workout, & wisely avoided any damage. With Morgan out the race appeared to be Nathan Mathabane’s to claim & he raced off to a big lead with 400 to go but Matt Miner of Ashland closed the gap with a big move in the final turn to move just off the leader’s shoulder. The Lincoln runner, however, had something in reserve & drew away to claim victory with a time of 1:54.62. Matt Miner was second in 1:55.25 & Brad Gissel of South Eugene placed third.
For many the high point of the meet was the Invitational Mile, where Oregon’s Galen Rupp would...
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