Team XO Invite

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

University of Oregon's Legendary Hayward Field
Eugene, OR

a DyeStat featured meet



- by Dave Devine

Eugene, Oregon - For more than a year now, the buzz has been building in Track Town U.S.A.  With a new coach at the University, an influx of young talent and a host of promising recruits, the track and field community in Eugene is rallying around a renaissance.  At the center of it all, as always, is venerable Hayward Field, a stadium that still shudders with the echoes of countless legendary performances.  Many have said those echoes are reawakening in Eugene, and this Saturday, at the annual XO Invite, 43 teams from throughout Oregon, and more than 1300 athletes, will have the chance to find out for themselves.

In only its third year, the XO Invite has quickly become the hot ticket in early season Oregon high school track and field action.  The 2005 edition showcased some impressive athletes putting up name-making performances, capped by a stunning national recordin the girl’s javelin from Newberg senior Rachel Yurkovich, who decimated the existing record with a launch of 176 feet 5 inches. 

The 2006 incarnation promises more of the same. Twelve of last year’s individual XO Invite champions return, along with six of the eight Oregon state championship teams from 2005.  The XO Invite bills itself as the only opportunity in Oregon for schools across classifications to compete against one another, head-to-head on the same day.  The meet awards an overall trophy to the top co-ed team, as well as a trophy to the next highest-placing team from a different class.  In several races, defending state champions from different classes will face off for early season bragging rights.  The short hurdles, in particular, feature compelling cross-class matchups.  In the girl’s 100m hurdles, 4A state and defending XO Invite champion Bianca Mathabane (Jr., Lincoln) lines up against 1A state champion Emily Holding (Jr., Damascus Christian) and 2A runner-up Maddie Miller (Jr., Catlin Gabel).  On the boys side, the 110m hurdles finds 4A state champion Tyler McBee (Jr., Beaverton) curling into the blocks next to 2A champ Marshall Ackley (Sr., Nyssa).  On the high jump apron, Churchhill senior Tyler Poppe, 4A champion, will be leaping against 2A runner-up Jake Redfield (Sr., Oakland), who also snagged the 2A long jump title.

Benson senior Nate Anderson, who stepped up to the 800 at last year’s XO Invite and came home second with an impressive 1:53.80, brings his blistering 46.47 speed to the 400 and 200 in this year’s meet.  Central Catholic star Kenny Klotz, a Foot Locker finalist and Nike Team National individual champ in cross country, will be stepping up in a very different way, over the barriers and across the water in the rarely-run boy’s 3000m steeplechase.

With some of Oregon’s finest high schoolers competing in the state’s most hallowed stadium, there is little doubt the echoes will be stirring again in Hayward this Saturday. 


The 3rd Annual XO Invite at Hayward Field will be held on Saturday, April 15th, 2006. The meet will be commencing at 11:00am and ending at 9:00pm.