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Oregon men sweep 800

by Frank Mungeam

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews


Posted on July 1, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:36 PM

Wow. Track Town USA is back!

Monday night's 1-2-3 sweep of the 800 meters by Oregon men was a race for the ages.

With half a lap to go, race favorite Nick Symmonds was trapped, boxed in by the pack in the men's 800 meter final. With a single move on the backstretch, the former Willamette University standout extricated himself and unleashed a blistering kick to gap the field and win the 800.

Slideshow: Oregon Sweep

Meanwhile, behind him UO sophomore Andrew Wheating surged past far more experienced runners to place second. And then, Oregon Track Club runner Christian Smith lunged for the line, side by side with National Champion Khadevis Robinson, edging the veteran for the third and final spot on the Olympic team.

The expressions of shock and elation on the faces of the three Oregon runners was priceless. The Hayward crowd went wild. The top finishers from the just-ended women's 800 came over to congratulate them. They all hugged UO track coach Vince Lanana, who's had a big part in the resurrection of Eugene as a running Mecca.

On Monday night, there was no question about the location of Track Town USA.