EUGENE, Ore. – The NCAA Track & Field Championships and a match-up against defending men’s and women’s national champion Texas A&M at the Pepsi Team Invitational are but two of the highlights on the 2010 Oregon track and field schedule, as announced Wednesday by Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna.
The Ducks will also host UCLA in a men’s dual meet for the third straight year and the Eugene Marathon will be held in conjunction with the Oregon Relays, presented by Oregon Community Credit Union, and, for the first time, will finish on the track at Historic Hayward Field.
“Track Town, USA, welcomes the NCAA Championships back to Hayward Field,” said Lananna. “This is the most entertaining collegiate track and field schedule that has been brought to Hayward Field in some time and our great fans will get to see our men’s and women’s teams competing against the nation’s best.”
The Ducks open the outdoor season with the Oregon Preview on March 20, the first of six home meets in 2010. The other five home meets are the Pepsi Team Invitational on April 10, the Oregon-UCLA dual on April 17, the Oregon Relays, presented by OCCU, on April 30-May 1, the Oregon Twilight on May 8 and the NCAA Championships June 9-12.
After the Preview meet, the teams will spend the next two weekends away from Eugene at the Stanford Invitational and the Texas Relays before returning to Hayward Field to host the Pepsi Team Invitational. It will be a meeting of both the men’s and women’s defending NCAA champions from Texas A&M versus the 2009 national runner-ups from Oregon. Missouri, another Big XII school, will return to the Pepsi meet for the first time since 2005, while the Husky men and women also come back to Hayward Field following a one-year hiatus. Additionally, the men’s meet will feature Illinois from the Big Ten, which will be making its first appearance in Eugene since 1996.
“We know the competition will be good,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry, whose Aggies will host Oregon in the Texas A&M Challenge during the indoor season on Feb 12-13. “This kind of competition is good for our sport and it needs to happen more often. It’s important to have good teams competing against each other, scoring the competition and let the fans leave the meet knowing who won. We are an individual sport, but we better be a team sport in today’s athletic environment.”
The Texas A&M Challenge will pit two men’s and women’s teams from the Pac-10, Big XII, and SEC conferences against each other in a scoring competition. In addition to Oregon (Pac-10) and Texas A&M (Big XII), the teams are Arkansas (SEC), Baylor (Big XII), Florida (SEC), South Carolina (SEC), Stanford (Pac-10) and Washington State (Pac-10).
Following the Pepsi meet, the men will stay in Eugene to host UCLA in a dual meet for the third consecutive season, while the women head to the Mt. SAC Relays that weekend.
The Ducks’ final regular season competition away from Eugene will be the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa., April 22-24.
The teams host meets the final two weeks of the regular season. The Oregon Relays, presented by OCCU, will once again feature a large contingent of collegiate, high school and post-collegiate competitors. The regular season ends with the traditional Oregon Twilight.
The Pacific-10 Championships will be May 15-16 in Berkeley, Calif.
The reformatted NCAA West Regional will be a three-day affair and will be held May 27-29 in Austin, Texas, with the top 12 finishers in each event advancing to the NCAA Championships.
The season concludes with the NCAA Championships, which return to Historic Hayward Field June 9-12. It will be the Championships’ first appearance in Eugene since 2001, and will be the 10th time overall that Hayward Field has hosted the NCAA meet. Chicago (13) and Eugene will be the only cities to have hosted at least 10 NCAA Track & Field Championships.