Eugene, Ore. -- The Oregon indoor track season starts at the University of Washington, with a Preview meet that head coach Robert Johnson says will be a good way to gauge where his team is at following a long cross country season in the fall. The Ducks will be without some of their top talent from last season, such as Lilli Burdon, one of the few who transferred following the conclusion of the spring season. The Ducks also saw assistant coaches Andy and Mauricia Powell head to the Washington in the offseason.
Former University of San Francisco head cross country coach Helen Lehman-Winters and former Virginia Tech head cross country coach Ben Thomas were brought in to fill the gaps, and helped lead Oregon women's cross country to a 3rd place NCAA finish, a Pac-12 title and an at-large NCAA berth for the men's team.
Coach Johnson talked Wednesday with the media about Winters and Thomas' contributions, as well as how the Heyward field renovations have made recruiting a little bit tougher (full comments at 3:20 mark in video). Chaquinn Cook, the second-team All-American triple jumper also chatted about finding consistency in her jumps, how the freshmen have brought new energy into the program and what lies ahead at the UW Preview.
The meet will be an all-day event on Saturday, January 12th.