Oregon Duo Named USTFCCCA Men’s National Athletes of the Year
By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA
June 19, 2009
NEW ORLEANS – Oregon’s Galen Rupp and Ashton Eaton have been named the NCAA Division I Men’s Track Athlete and Field Athlete of the Year, respectively, by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, announced on Thursday.
Rupp, a senior, and Eaton, a junior, have been instrumental in the success that the Oregon Ducks attained this outdoor season. All season long, the Ducks were ranked in the top three in the Division I Outdoor Track and Field Rankings after entering the preseason ranked third in the country.
Rupp, the men’s national Track Athlete of the Year, earned 20 points for the Ducks at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships winning both the 5k and 10k at the national meet. More impressive was the fact that the distance double happened in a span of 45 hours as Rupp ran the 5k preliminaries on Thursday night, won the 10k on Friday night, and won the 5k on Saturday night. Rupp’s time in the 10k was 28:21.45 seconds, and he ran 14:04.12 seconds in the 5k.
Rupp qualified in three events for the NCAA Championships but chose to focus on his two signature events. He also had qualified for the 1,500 meters at the West Regional Championship after finishing second overall. Rupp was the West Region Champion in the men’s 5k, running 13:46.41.
At the Pac-10 Championships, Rupp won the 10k title, and was the runner-up behind a teammate in the 1,500 meters.
Eaton, the men’s national Field Athlete of the Year, won the men’s decathlon for the second straight year at the NCAA Championships scoring a personal best 8,241 points. The decathlon took nearly nine hours to complete at the championships, but Eaton battled through to become only the second Oregon Duck to win back-to-back national titles in the event.
At the Pac-10 Championships, Eaton won the decathlon title scoring 8,091 points to make it four-straight decathlon competitions over 8,000 points for the Bend, Oregon native. In addition to his title in the decathlon, Eaton also finished second in the men’s long jump with a personal best of 25’6.75”, which was the tenth-best jump in school history.
Combined, the Oregon duo contributed 30 of the Ducks’ final 43 points at the NCAA Championships, and 36 of the 158 points at the Pac-10 Championships. Rupp and Eaton also were named the NCAA Division I Men’s West Regional Track Athlete and Field Athlete of the Year.