A New Duck Speedster: Tony James

Mike Berry takes the handoff
Tony James


Tony James

Duck football fanboys are smiling after Tony James‘s performance in the 60-meter dash at the University of Washington Invitational Track Meet this past weekend. James, a redshirt freshman tailback, notched a 6.71 in the semi-finals, the second-fastest Duck time ever for the distance, tying Olympic gold medalist Ashton Eaton and surpassing Oregon speedsters LaMichael James and Dior Mathis. The 5’9, 180-lb athlete from Gainsville, Florida, made quite an impression in his first race for the Ducks.

Of his effort, Oregon head coach Robert Johnson said, “It was a good opener for Tony. As the season continues, he will spend more and more time working out with track and just continue to get better and better.”

The other big news from Seattle was Greg Skipper‘s new Oregon record in the weight throw. His toss of 70’ 10 1/2″ eclipsed his previous record by more than a foot and a half. Skipper and the rest of the Oregon track team will take a week off before heading to several different meets on Feb. 13, 2015.

In related news, Duck track recruiting got a boost when the Nike Cross Country Nationals Champion, Tanner Anderson, committed to Oregon over the weekend.

On the pro circuit, Jordan Hasay outran a strong field to win the Women’s 2-mile at the Armory Track Invitational in New York. Hasay kicked with 300 meters left in the race and won by five meters. “It was a big win; it’s just and honor to compete here,” Hasay said to NBC. “My parents flew all the way out here and got in at 2 a.m. I was just thrilled.” Hasay will compete next at the Millrose Games.

Oregon grads Matt Centrowitz and Mike Berry propelled the USA team to a new world record in the Distance Medley Relay at the Armory meet. Their mark of 9:19.93 beat the old mark by six seconds. Centrowitz blasted through the opening leg of 1200 meters in 2:49.47, and gave Berry a three second lead at the handoff. Centrowitz will run the 1000 meters at the New Balance Boston Indoor Games on Feb. 7, 2014.

 Top Photo by Ben White

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Michael Bigham

Michael Bigham

Raised in the Central Oregon mill town of Prineville beneath deep blue skies and rim rock, I attended the University of Oregon and during my collegiate summers, I worked in a lumber mill and also fought range fires on the Oregon High Desert for the Bureau of Land Management. After graduating from college at the University of Oregon, I swung from being budding hippy to cop work. I’m still wondering about how that came about. I was a police officer with the Port of Portland and after leaving police work, I obtained an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Vermont College. I live in Portland, Oregon with my wife, my daughter and a spunky bichon frise named Pumpkin. I’ve had short stories publishing in two Main Street Press anthologies. Harkness is my first novel.