Oregon Men Break Collegiate, Hayward Field Record in 4xMile Relay

Courtesy: Greg Walker, Oregon Media Relations

May 10, 2009   

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EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon broke the collegiate and Hayward Field records in the four-mile relay, running 16:03.24 Saturday night before a cheering crowd of 5,726.

With fans lining the historic oval at the corner of 15th and Agate, the Ducks broke Michigan’s 2005 collegiate record of 16:04.54 and the 1968 Hayward Field record of 16:05.0, set by Oregon Track Club, one of whom’s runners, Wade Bell, was in attendance Saturday night.

"The best thing about this race was the excitement it brought to the community," said Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. "It will be one of the big and long-time lasting memories.

"This could only happen in Track Town, USA."

Oregon opened the record attempt with redshirt freshman Matthew Centrowitz, who ran 3:59.53. Then 2008 Olympian Andrew Wheating took the baton for a 3:59.60 second leg. Senior Shadrack Biwott clocked a 4:05.21 third leg before handing off to four-time NCAA champion Galen Rupp, who brought the record home with a 3:58.93 final leg.

"This was awesome," said the senior from Portland, Ore., who received a standing ovation during the senior introductions earlier in the night. "It’s one of the craziest environments I’ve ever been a part of. I was hurting on that last part because I went out too hard, but the crowd on the track was a great idea, and I think that’s what pushed us over."

Wheating was also jazzed by the crowd on the track.

"I was so excited that I went out with a 57, and that wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing," said the junior from Norwich, Vt. "With everyone on the track it’s hard to tell how fast you’re going."

Biwott, from Eldoret, Kenya, was reflective on the record and his career at Hayward Field.

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