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With a boisterous crowd lining the outside lanes of the track and a big goal on the agenda, Cooper Teare and his “rag-tag group of guys” just were looking to have some fun.
That much was accomplished Saturday night during the final event of the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field.
Beating the world-record time in the men’s 4xMile relay will have to wait for another day.
Teare joined fellow former Oregon Ducks Cole Hocker, James West and Matt Wisner in an attempt to run faster than the 15 minute, 49.08 record set by a team from Ireland in 1985.
If they had been successful, it would not have counted as a world record because all members of the team have to represent the same country. Teare, Hocker and Wisner are Americans; West is from Great Britain.
No matter, the group finished in 15:52.05 — the second-fastest time ever — with Teare running a 3:53 anchor leg to keep it exciting until the end for the crowd, which came down from the stands for the race.
Oregon also had two teams in the race, with one finishing in 16:29.87 and the other in 17:07.11.
“It was fun,” Hocker said. “It was painful, but it was fun. I’ve never had that kind of atmosphere. I’ve had people come down to the track during certain races during high school, but never the full length of the track. That was special.”
Wisner opened with a 3:59.69 mile, followed by a 4:01.81 split for West and 3:57.31 for Hocker.
The group was at 11:58.81 when Teare took the baton.
“I'd be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed,” Hocker said. “I think we have the group of guys that can run the fastest time ever. I don’t exactly know my split, but Cooper definitely put it all out there. I did my best to get around the track as fast as I could but it was hard.”
Hocker is represented by agent Ray Flynn, who was on the record-setting Irish team.
When asked if Flynn was rooting for his client or his record Saturday night, Hocker joked, “He’s probably stoked. He’s probably having a drink right now.”
Each relay member continues to live in Eugene and are all coached by Oregon associate head coach Ben Thomas, who brought up the idea of taking a shot at the record two weeks ago.
“Really, the goal was just to have fun,” Teare said. “This was one of those things that wasn’t really a big deal, just one of those last minute things that we decided, ‘Why not?’
“As crazy as it is, doing it at home and by ourselves, we gave it a good shot. These are all guys I really believe in and wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else.”
Oregon HS sprinter steals spotlight
Mia Brahe-Pedersen solidified her status as one of the best high school sprinters in the nation over the two days of the Oregon Relays.
But the Lake Oswego sophomore didn’t have it easy in her final event Saturday evening, as she had to chase down Roosevelt senior Lily Jones to get the win in the girls 100-meter final in what is personal record and national-leading wind-legal time of 11.34 seconds.
Jones' quick start had her in the lead for about 75 meters before Brahe-Pedersen tracked her down for just enough of an advantage to cross the finish line in first.
“I’m really used to that, especially in races with her because her starts are blazing,” said Brahe-Pedersen, who regularly competes against Jones in Portland-area races. “I’ve never seen a start like that, and then my top end is where I thrive. That’s my thing. … I know, for the most part, if I hold my form and keep myself going, a lot of the times that can get me through the finish line in first place.”
Jones, who announced on Wednesday that she’ll compete for the Ducks next year, finished second in a PR of 11.44.
“I knew that I was going to come out here and perform,” Jones said. “I felt really good in the prelims and matched my PR, and I always run faster in the finals so I knew that it was going to be a good day. … Mia and I love competing against each other. We definitely feed off each other.”
Oregon Relays, Day 1: An Oregon Olympian gets challenged and Hampton sets huge PR
Brahe-Pedersen also ran the anchor leg on Lake Oswego’s winning 4x100 team Saturday. She was in second place by 10 meters at the exchange but still led her team to a comfortable win in 46.58 — just off the Oregon state record of 46.53. Wilson (Long Beach, Calif.) finished second in 47.0.
On Friday, Brahe-Pedersen won the 200 in a meet record and PR 23.23. Jones was second in a PR 24.15.
Those two will no doubt face each other again at Hayward Field during the OSAA state meet in May.
“We both push each other and we both appreciate each other’s talents," Brahe-Pedersen said. "I know she’s going to do amazing things and I’m so excited to see what she does, especially in college, but I know that state meet is going to be a lot of fun for us.”
Sloan takes shot at 6-foot jump
Oregon’s Tori Sloan set a PR in the high jump as she won the women’s event with a clearance of 5-11¼.
The junior then missed on her three attempts to become the first Duck to get over a 6-foot bar since Lauren Crockett cleared 6-0½ in 2014.
Sloan, who had been in a four-way tie for eighth all-time at Oregon with her previous PR of 5-10, moved up to No. 7 all-time.
Dominique Ruotolo was the runner-up as she set a PR of 5-8¾.
Ruotolo also won the women’s triple jump with a mark of 43-8¾, a victory by more then three feet over runner-up Anneke Noersdorf of Oregon State who jumped 40-8¼.
Other highlights from Saturday
The men's 4x100 relay team of Ryan Mulholland, Micah Williams, Will Mundy and Xavier Nairne set the meet record and moved into No. 4 all-time at Oregon with a time of 38.83.
Oregon’s Mason Strunk was second in the men’s hammer throw at 207-2, but 20-year-old Canadian Ethan Katzberg went essentially unchallenged as he won the event with a PR throw of 243-3
Wisconsin’s Josie Schaefer won the women’s shot put, fending off a close challenge from Oregon duo Jaida Ross and Mine De Clerk. Schaefer threw 55-9 3/4 on her first attempt to take the lead. Ross (55-4¾) and De Clerk (54-4½) followed with their best throws on their second attempts as they finished in second and third, respectively.
Chloe Foerster, a senior from Jesuit who is going to Washington, ran 2:05.80 to win the girls 800 by more than 3 seconds over Summit’s Magdalene Williams, who was second in 2:08.51. Foerster’s time was also the second-fastest of the day in any of the 800 heats, including the women’s invite, which was won by Olympian Marta Freitas of Brooks Beast in 2:05.17.
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This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Oregon Relays, Day 2: Live updates from Hayward Field