The Oregon track and field teams received letters of intent from seven men and eight women from the recruiting class of 2010.
Headlining the class is javelin thrower and Gresham native Sam Crouser, whose personal best throw of 239 feet led the nation this season. Crouser had verbally committed to UCLA and was expected to sign there, making his reversal a pleasant surprise for ardent track fans.
Crouser’s father is former Oregon star Dean Crouser, a three-time NCAA champion in shot put and discus. His uncle is Brian Crouser, a two-time NCAA champion in javelin for the Ducks and a two-time Olympian.
The track program remained in-state to grab commitments from Sweet Home’s Dakotah Keys and Rogue River’s Cole Watson. Keys is the current Oregon state decathlon record holder (7,204 points), while Watson took home state championships in the 400 meters, 800 meters and 1,500 meters in his senior season. He will run middle distances for the Ducks.
The class also includes: Colby Alexander (distance, Strongsville, Ohio); Jacob Budwig (throws, Fowler, Calif.); Brian Shrader (middle distance, Flagstaff, Ariz.); and Parker Stinson (distance, Austin, Tex.).
The women’s class is headlined by Fargo, N.D., middle distance runner Laura Roesler, who competed in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in the 800 meters. Roesler, whose personal best in the 800 meters is 2:03.08, won four consecutive state titles at distances of 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters and 800 meters in North Dakota.
The class’ only long-distance runner, Sarah Andrews of The Woodlands, Texas, won the 5,000 meters at the 2009 Pan American Junior Championships. Andrews is a four-time state champion in both track and field and cross country.
Other members of the class include: Phyllis Francis (middle distance, Laurelton, N.Y.); English Gardner (sprints, Voorhees, N.J.); Lauryn Newson (sprints/jumps, Richmond, Calif.); Chizoba Okodogbe (sprints, Antioch, Calif.); Megan Patrignelli (middle distance, Monroe, N.Y.); and Kortney Ross (pole vault, San Diego, Calif.).