By Jake Willard/ TrackTown USA
EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon men’s and women’s track and field teams will take a break this week, with three notable exceptions.
UO junior distance runner Edward Cheserek, a 10-time NCAA champion and two-time finalist for The Bowerman, is scheduled to compete in a loaded field in the 3,000 meters at the 109th Millrose Games at the Armory in New York City on Saturday.
Cheserek, who clocked an NCAA-leading time of 13 minutes, 35.86 seconds in the 5,000 meters at last week’s Husky Classic in Seattle, will be racing against several familiar faces in New York, including former UO teammates Eric Jenkins and Trevor Dunbar.
“My goal is just to run with the people who are there and have fun,” Cheserek said. “Enjoy the ride and maybe try to run really fast and knock down my qualifier time for nationals.”
The men’s 3,000-meter field also features Kemoy Campbell, Ryan Hill, Mo Ahmed, Evan Jager, Donn Cabral, Andy Bayer, Lopez Lomong, Hassan Mead, Cam Levins, Matt Hughes and Johnny Gregorek.
The other two Ducks competing at the Millrose Games are sophomore Raevyn Rogers in the 800 meters and sophomore Blake Haney in the Invitational mile. Rogers claimed the NCAA outdoor title in the 800m as a freshman last June, and her winning time of 1:59.71 ranks fourth on the UO all-time list.
“Running against pros for the first time … should be interesting,” said Rogers, who will make her 800m season debut at Millrose. She’ll have her hands full in a stacked field that includes the top two Americans from last season – Ajee’ Wilson and Brenda Martinez – as well as UO alum Laura Roesler.
The Ducks are coming off a successful weekend competing at the Husky Classic and Don Kirby Invitational in Albuquerque. Junior Sasha Wallace set personal bests in the 60-meter hurdles (7.96) and triple jump (42-8), bettering her own school records in the process.
On the men’s side, sophomore Nate Moore also broke the UO triple jump record at 52-11 ½, and sophomore Devon Allen finished second in the 60-meter hurdles (7.80) behind former teammate Johnathan Cabral.
This was Allen’s third meet of the indoor campaign, and his first competition on the track since a knee injury forced him to redshirt the 2015 season.
UO head coach Robert Johnson says Allen is “on track” with his comeback and looks for him to be in the mix for a berth at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championships.
When asked if he felt rusty coming back this season, Allen said, “Maybe just a little bit technique wise. I felt pretty good running. Just speed wise and I was getting in better shape.”
Other athletes with Oregon ties that will be competing at the Millrose Games: Jenna Prandini (60m), Ashton Eaton (60m hurdles, long jump), Brianne Theisen-Eaton (60m hurdles), Jordan Hasay (5,000), Emily Infeld (5,000m), Jesse Williams (high jump), Justin Frick (high jump), Phyllis Francis (400m), Matthew Centrowitz (mile), Daniel Winn (mile), Jordan McNamara (mile), Shannon Rowbury (mile) and Treniere Moser (mile).