The Oregon Ducks have scored another prodigy for their track and field program, this time with Jackson Mestler of Sheldon High School. Anyone who payed attention to the high school races during the recent Oregon Relays at Historic Hayward Field has seen the name before.
Mestler is no stranger to the greatness of Oregon running, after all, he grew up in Eugene. His father, Rick, was a great steeplechase runner for Oregon, earning 4 all-American awards, according to GoDucks.com, and his mother was on the cross country team, as well.
When asked by Preston Hiefield of KVAL 13 on what it meant to run for Oregon, Mestler said, “I’d call it a dream. There’s so much significance that happens when you put on that jersey.” However, Mestler seems remarkably unfazed by the pressure that comes with being a high commodity athlete. “I’ve already met some of my future teammates, and it seems straight forward. I don’t expect there to be a bunch of hiccups,” Mestler went on to say.
As for his personality, he claims he is “laid back (before a race), but in the race, I’m on.” Seems pretty straightforward. Most long distance runners are laid back, if not just plain quirky. But come race time, Mestler is just like everyone else, just inching to go.
— MileSplit US (@milesplit) November 11, 2015
Just looking at Mestler’s times alone on Athletic.net will tell you an incredible story. At first glance, the numbers do not jump out at you. His cross country times don’t shock people, the way a D1 recruit typically would, but it’s his track and field improvement that really stand out. In his first year, Mestler’s 800m and 1500m times were average, with times of 2:20 and 4:53, respectively. [Author’s Note: For those who don’t run competitively, improving your 800m time is one of the hardest things you can do.]
When Mestler really puts in the work, you can really see the results. Some of his biggest improvements were in the 1500m, starting 4:22 in 2013, to 4:03 in 2014. His 3K also improved dramatically, particularly of last few years, going from 8:48 in 2015 to 8:34 in 2015. When you look at the numbers, his improvement really is remarkable. Mestler’s work ethic lead to a 6A State title in both the 1500m and 3000m in 2015 at Hayward Field.
If you haven’t seen this particular race yet, it’s definitely worth a look, the final lap of which can be viewed here, courtesy OregonLive.com.
Spoiler alert: his kick is really good. Keep in mind, this was a day AFTER he had already won the 3K! His drive, especially toward the end long, fast races is incredible. Seeing as Mestler is going to be running with some of the best track and field athletes in the nation, his ceiling is very much on the rise. With Drew Hunter coming along next year, this should be an incredible one-two punch.
Photo by Jake Willard
August Howell is a sophomore at the University of Oregon and is in the process of studying journalism. He was raised in the small coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California where he discovered his passion for surfing and running. Since the beginning high school, August has competed in Cross Country and Track and Field and is currently is a very active member on the UO Running Club.
Originally, August’s writing was based entirely on his love of surfing, but now he is becoming a more diversified writer as he follows professional basketball and football. August loves talking about the Ducks with anyone who wants to join in the conversation.
For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!
I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)
I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.
Everybody is happy! So below is the new schedule through football season:
Monday: Mr. FishDuck
Tuesday: Darren Perkins
Wednesday: Joshua Whitted & Mr. FishDuck
Thursday: Coach Eric Boles & Alex Heining
Friday: David Marsh
Saturday: Mr. FishDuck (GameDay Baby!)
Sunday: Jordan Ingram
A couple of writers could not join us as they have new projects in their lives, and cannot write for anyone at the moment–but perhaps we will see them back later.
Things rarely work out so well for all parties in agreements, but this time it has and truly….everyone wins!
Our 33 rules at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
FishDuck members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!