Cross CountrySportsTrack & Field

Oregon adds 3 coaches, wins John Frank Invitational


The Oregon track and field program had a busy summer, hiring two new assistant coaches and promoting a third.

Robert Weir, a three-time Olympian for the United Kingdom in the discus throw, was hired in August as Oregon’s next assistant coach for throws. He replaces Lance Deal, who stepped down to become the facilities coordinator for Hayward Field.

Weir is a 12-time British national champion in the discus and six-time IAAF world champion. He spent 16 years as an assistant and head coach at Stanford (1993-2008) where he worked with current Oregon assistant athletic director Vin Lananna. He was also a three-time NCAA individual champion at Southern Methodist University and the throws coach for the U.S. track and field teams for the 2005 and 2007 IAAF World Championships. He will oversee the Ducks’ discus, hammer throwers and shot put throwers.

In addition, former Penn assistant coach and Big Ten decathlon champion Jamie Cook was hired to take over the role of multi-events coach from Harry Marra. Marra is expected to start a multi-events division within Oregon Track Club Elite in Eugene. Former Oregon decathlete and three-time NCAA champion Ashton Eaton is expected to join him.

Cook was a three-time All-American in the decathlon for Penn State (1995-98) and had been an assistant with the Quakers since 2001. He coordinated the combined events portion of the heralded Penn Relays event and developed a speed training program used by athletes in the NFL, MLB and the English Premier League. Cook will assist with long jumpers, pole vaulters and hurdlers in addition to the combined event athletes.

Jenni Ashcroft, Oregon’s volunteer assistant coach for the pole vault, has been promoted to assistant coach and will work with the cross country runners, middle-distance runners and high jumpers. Ashcroft is largely credited with developing Oregon pole vaulter Melissa Gergel, who finished second at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships.

Men, Women win John Frank Invitational

Redshirt freshman Ben DeJarnette and senior Zoe Buckman took home individual titles in the four-mile men’s race and 4,500-meter women’s race, respectively, at the inaugural John Frank Invitational in Corvallis on September 3.

The Duck men (ranked third nationally by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) and Duck women (ranked fourth nationally) easily captured the team titles in the tune-up event.

The Oregon men scored 22 points to beat No. 8 Portland (53) and Portland State (59), while the Oregon women (16 points) took down Portland (57), Oregon State (59) and Portland State (103). DeJarnette (19:36.1) crossed the finish line with two teammates, redshirt junior Chris Kwiatkowski (19:38.8) and redshirt senior Danny Mercado (19:39.3), behind him in close succession. Redshirt senior Ken Scoggin (seventh, 19:59.7) and redshirt freshman Mitchell Hunt (ninth, 20:01.9) rounded out the Ducks’ top five.

Walker Augustyniak (10th, 20:09.2), Spencer Carter (11th, 20:15.4), Tim Costin (15th, 20:29.4) and Hank Morrison (24th, 21:58.3) also competed for the Ducks.

All six of the Oregon women competing placed in the top seven. Buckman won in 16:00.6, followed by sophomore Sarah Penney (16:01.6), redshirt freshman Melanie Thompson (16:02.6) and junior Bronwyn Crossman (16:03.2). Sophomores Taylor Wallace (16:11.6) and Becca Friday (16:16.2) placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

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