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Rise of Oregon Relays casts shadow on Centennial Invitational - oregonlive.com

Published by
RunnerSpace.com/HighSchool   Apr 24th 2012, 4:16pm

Prep track: Rise of Oregon Relays casts shadow on Centennial Invitational

Jerry Ulmer, The Oregonian, April 23, 2012 4:21 p.m.

From its inception in 1965, the Centennial Invitational evolved into the most important regular-season meet on the Oregon high school track and field calendar.

In recent years, though, the meet that built a reputation for showcasing the state’s best talent has run into its own high-powered competition.

A group of University of Oregon graduates started the XO Invitational in 2004 at Hayward Field, and since merging with a college and pro meet in 2008 and being renamed the Oregon Relays, it has stolen some of Centennial’s thunder. The lure of Hayward Field has proven irresistible for high school teams.

Complicating matters, the Oregon Relays and Centennial Invitational were on the same day the last four years. They don’t conflict this year – the Oregon Relays were last weekend and the Centennial Invitational is Saturday – but it appears likely that they will fall on the same day again, forcing teams to choose between the two.

“Centennial is a state preview, so when it has to compete with the Oregon Relays, it’s a tough decision,” Barlow coach Dave Kilian said.

How are the meets co-existing? Can the Centennial Invitational remain a signature event as the profile of the Oregon Relays grows, especially if the meets repeatedly go head-to-head?

“Our main thing is it’s a traditional meet,” said Centennial coach Greg Letts, organizer of the Gresham meet. “We’re going to...

Read the full article at: highschoolsports.oregonlive.com
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