Oregon athletes, past and present, ruled the Millrose Games last weekend. Oregon alum Matt Centrowitz won his second Wanamaker Mile as he out-sprinted Nick Willis to the tape, taking the race in an excellent time of 3:51.45. Centrowitz lost the 2013 Wanamaker Mile by a nose in 2013, and the loss still rankled him.
“To this date, that still holds a sour taste in my mouth,” Centrowitz said. “This is a second home to me. Millrose, I take [it as] a big deal.”
Oregon’s newest academic All-American Edward Cheserek set the University’s mile record by finishing in 3:56.43, good for eighth in the elite Millrose field. Daniel Winn held the previous school record for all of 90 minutes, running 3:57.62 at the Husky Classic earlier in the day.
Duck grad Phyllis Francis beat Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross in the 400-meter run with a time of 53.14, well ahead of Richards-Ross who finished 0.6 seconds back. Francis held back the first 200 before hitting the gas to outclass the field.
“I just knew I had to feel the race out,” said Francis. “It worked out well for me.”
Current Ducks Erik Jenkins and Will Geoghegan swept the first two places in the 3000 meters. Jenkins took first in 7:44.91, just missing the American collegiate record, but the time was enough to claim eighth-fastest time in NCAA history. Geoghegan finished 0.8 seconds back, third on the Duck all-time list and ninth in NCAA history.
The mantra of the day might have been ‘leave no record unbroken’ as Brittany Mann, the Oregon sophomore, broke the school record, not once but twice at Millrose, tossing the shot put 16.10 m on her first attempt and then hurling the iron ball and incredible 16.93 m on her third throw. That toss eclipsed the old school record by more than three feet.
The Ducks get to rest next weekend before competing in the MPSF Championships in Seattle Feb. 27-28.
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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.
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