EUGENE, Ore. – Ever since The Bowerman award was introduced as collegiate track and field’s highest accolade in 2009, no school has had more winners (four) or finalists (nine) than the University of Oregon.
Sprinter Jenna Prandini is the latest Duck athlete to be honored as the 2015 female recipient of The Bowerman, joining past UO winners Laura Roesler (2014), Ashton Eaton (2010) and Galen Rupp (2009).
Prandini will be one of our featured guests at the next TrackTown Tuesday on March 1 at the Downtown Athletic Club. She will be joined by a trio of record-setting Duck throwers – senior Greg Skipper, junior Brittany Mann and senior transfer Itohan Aikhionbare – plus UO throws coach Erik Whitsitt. Oregon Track Club Elite will be represented by two of its top middle distance runners in Ben Blankenship and Ciarán O’Lionáird.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for a social hour, followed by the one-hour show at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
It promises to be a memorable show!
Prandini, a silver medalist for Team USA in the 4×100-meter relay at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last summer, is coming off a third-place finish in the 60 meters at the Millrose Games in New York City.
She is expected to compete in that event at the USATF Indoor Championships, March 11-12, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Prandini set four school records during her time with the Ducks, and in her final season, she was the individual high-point scorer at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
Skipper and Mann are the current UO record-holders in the weight throw, while Mann and Aikhionbare stand 1-2 in the indoor shot put. All three are likely qualifiers for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Blankenship, who anchored Team USA to a world record in the distance medley relay at the IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas last year, is targeting either the 1,500m or 3,000m at the 2016 USATF Indoor Championships. O’Lionáird, a 2012 Olympian in the 1,500m for his native Ireland, is skipping the indoor season to focus on training for the Rio Olympics.
As always, TrackTown President and U.S. Olympic men’s head coach Vin Lananna will be the host of the TrackTown Tuesday festivities with former UO three-sport star Jordan Kent serving as emcee. There will be free coffee, tea and soft drinks, $5 appetizers and Hop Valley Brewing Co. will be pouring $3 pints of beer. Free parking is available in the adjacent Overpark. No validation is required after 5 p.m.
A limited supply of tickets for the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships, March 17-20, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland are still available at Portland2016.com. Additionally, single-session tickets for the 2016 USATF Indoor Championships, March 11-12, at the OCC can be purchased at gotracktownusa.com.
Curtis Anderson | TrackTown USA
Director of Communications