Ducks ready for Pepsi Team Invitational

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon track and field head coach Robert Johnson, along with UO athletes Nikolaus Franzmair and Jasmine Todd, said the entire team is ready for action at their 2015 Hayward Field debut on Saturday.

The Ducks will play host to Kentucky and Washington in a scored three-way meet at the Pepsi Team Invitational.

“There will definitely be some good head-to-head events,” Johnson said. “Both Kentucky and Washington are highly ranked.”

One of the best events will be a match-up between UO senior Sam Crouser, the reigning NCAA javelin champion, and 2014 runner-up Raymond Dykstra of Kentucky. Johnson also said to watch for Oregon’s “distance duo” of Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins in the 5,000 meters, as well as multiple sub-4-minute milers in the 1,500 meters.

The last time Franzmair competed at Hayward Field, he represented Austria, his home country, at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in the 800 meters. He is “ready to race again” at Hayward Field, this time in a University of Oregon singlet. Franzmair is feeling confident about Saturday’s 800-meter race.

“That’s my event,” he said.

UO sophomore sprinter Jasmine Todd is also excited for the start of the home outdoor season after last year ended early due to a broken foot. “It was heartbreaking but it gives me motivation to compete,” Todd said.

Though she is unsure of her workload on Saturday, she is excited to compete at Hayward Field. “That’s the best part of being here,” Todd said. “Running in front of the fans.”

Johnson said the team is looking for a strong showing on Saturday. “We’re looking forward to getting it started here at Hayward Field,” he said.

The meet begins with the women’s hammer throw at 1:30 p.m.