August 23, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – As a distance runner, Andy Trouard is a bit of a late bloomer. The newest addition to the Oregon Track Club Elite roster didn’t join the track and field team at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona until his junior season, and he waited until his senior year to run cross country.

But that didn’t stop him from finding success.

Trouard won the individual state cross country title in his one and only season, and he also earned state championships on the track at three dist...

August 22, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Ben Blankenship and Hassan Mead placed third and ninth, respectively, at the Falmouth (Mass.) Elite Mile on August 18.

Blankenship, a 2016 Olympian, surged into the lead on the backstretch before settling for third in 3:59.23. Two days earlier, in an effort to replicate rounds at a championship meet, he won the Martin Richard Memorial Mile in Boston.

“It was another step forward for Ben,” OTC Elite Coach Mark Rowland said. “It’s good to see him back racing...

August 13, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Hassan Mead used a blazing 54-second final lap to capture first place in the 5,000 meters at the 2018 NACAC Senior Track & Field Championships at Varsity Stadium in Toronto on August 11.

The 5,000-meter field of five athletes was tightly bunched at the bell lap before Mead surged into the lead and crossed the finish line in 14:00.18. It was a 1-2 finish for Team USA as Riley Masters took second in 14:01.04.

“Hassan is fit and healthy, so it was nice for him...

August 8, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Ben Blankenship and Hassan Mead placed fifth and eighth, respectively, at the 2018 Sir Walter Miler in Raleigh, N.C., on August 3.

Racing through a narrow tunnel of enthusiastic fans, who lined the track outside lane three, Blankenship powered home in 3 minutes, 54.88 seconds, while Mead was a few strides back with a personal best of 3:55.91.

Each of the 13 competitors who finished the race broke the 4-minute barrier.

“Ben and Hassan are progressing every we...

August 8, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – With her sixth sub-1:58 performance of the season, Oregon Track Club Elite’s Francine Niyonsaba placed second in the 800 meters at the 2018 African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria on August 5.

Niyonsaba, a native of Burundi, hit the tape in 1 minute, 57.97 seconds, trailing only world leader Caster Semenya, of South Africa, who claimed her 27th straight victory in an 800m final in 1:56.06. Both runners are eligible to represent Africa in the Continental Cup, Sept. 8-9, in...

August 8, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Nijel Amos unleashed a strong kick to win the 800-meter crown at the 2018 African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria on August 3. The 24-year-old native of Botswana held off world leader Emmanuel Korir, of Kenya, over the final 150 meters for a winning time of 1 minute, 45.20 seconds.

Amos also won the African 800m crown in 2014 and 2016.

“To be able to defend my title is a great feeling,” Amos said.

The men’s 800m final was billed as one of the most...

July 25, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite athletes flexed their collective muscle on the Diamond League circuit in both Monaco and London this past weekend.

Nijel Amos and Francine Niyonsaba were particularly impressive with outstanding performances in the men’s and women’s 800 meters.

Amos stunned an excellent field in Monaco with a blistering time of 1 minute, 42.14 seconds on Friday, hitting the tape more than a second ahead of his closest competitor. The native of Botswana then traveled to London...

July 20, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – The world’s track and field spotlight shines on back-to-back Diamond League meetings in Monaco and London this weekend, and four Oregon Track Club Elite athletes are ready to compete on those prestigious stages.

OTC Elite’s Francine Niyonsaba and Nijel Amos are both entered in the 800 meters in Monaco on Friday, while teammates Hassan Mead and Andrew Osagie will race in London.

This will be the sixth Diamond League meeting of the season for Niyonsa...

July 18, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Ben Blankenship takes aim at a third straight victory in the Liberty Mile on the streets of downtown Pittsburgh on Friday night. Blankenship, a Rio 2016 Olympian in the 1,500 meters, will be competing for the first-place prize of $5,000 against a deep and talented field which includes 10 sub-4 minute milers.

The former University of Minnesota standout won the past two Liberty Miles in 4:05 (2017) and 4:02 (2016).

“I can’t wait to return to the Liberty Mile,...

July 9, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite’s Francine Niyonsaba earned her first Diamond League victory of the season with a dominant performance in the 800 meters in Lausanne, Switzerland last Thursday.

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist from Burundi moved to the front of the pack early in the race and posted a winning time of 1 minute, 57.80 seconds, holding off American record-holder Ajee Wilson down the home straight.

“That’s one tough lady,” OTC Elite coach Mark Rowland said of Niyonsaba. “She pret...

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