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Danny Ainge vs. Johnny Pesky and more in Oregon's Greatest Athlete Round of 32 Day 3 (vote)

Published Jan 01, 0001

Neil Lomax and Jacoby Ellsbury are among the other athletes in voting today.

Voting continues today in the Round of 32 in our quest to name Oregon's Greatest Athlete of All Time. Check back Thursday for voting in other regionals and we'll reveal the updated bracket (see complete Round of 32) and the leaders of the Oregon's Greatest Athlete Bracket Challenge on Friday. Voting is open for each set of matchups for 24 hours (6 a.m.-6 a.m.).

TODAY'S MATCHUPS (scroll down for bios, polls and full bracket)

Thunderegg Regional

(Round of 64 voting results)

Danny Ainge vs. 9 Johnny Pesky

Mickey Lolich vs. 4 Jacoby Ellsbury

6 Neil Lomax vs. 3 Bob Lilly

Les Gutches vs. 2 Galen Rupp

!2011 Template 

ATHLETE BIOS and POLLS (open till 6 a.m. Thursday)

Danny Ainge vs. 9 Johnny Pesky

Danny Ainge
Ainge was born in Eugene and was a three-sport star at North Eugene High School. He helped lead the team to back-to-back state basketball championships in 1976 and 1977, earning all-state honors in both seasons. He was a two-time all-state selection as a quarterback at North Eugene. Ainge was also one of top high school baseball players in the country. He was a Parade All-American and was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1977 amateur draft. Ainge was the youngest player in Blue Jays franchise history to hit a home run. He played three years of professional baseball before pursuing a career in the NBA. He was the 31st overall pick in the 1981 NBA Draft, joining the Boston Celtics with whom he won NBA titles in 1984 and 1986.
- Mike Richman

Johnny Pesky
Pesky hit .331 in his rookie season of 1942, second in the American League to teammate Ted Williams. He led the AL in hits in each of his first three seasons, 1942, '46 and '47, sandwiched around three years of military service. He was one of the game's great contact hitters, living up to his name. It's doubtful that the right-field foul pole at Fenway ever could have been called the Paveskovich Pole, but Pesky Pole fits, and it is the official name. And as a young player in Portland, Paveskovich was convinced that, to make it to the big leagues, he had to shorten his name. He played American Legion ball in Portland, attended Lincoln High and played for the Bend Elks and Silverton Red Sox summer league teams. In 1940 he broke into pro ball and two years later won the shortstop job at Boston. He was named an All-Star once during his 10-year professional career in 1946. His No. 6 is retired by the Red Sox.
-- Erik C. Anderson and staff reports

Mickey Lolich vs. 4 Jacoby Ellsbury

Mickey Lolich
Born in Portland, Lolich turned out to be one of the best pitchers in Detroit Tigers history. From 1963-1975, Lolich is best known for his Game 7 victory over Bob Gibson in the 1968 World Series. He won three games in that series, as well. Lolich ended his career with a 217-191 record, 3.44 ERA and 2,832 strikeouts, third-highest among left-handers in MLB history.
--Billy Gates

Jacoby Ellsbury
Ellsbury is a native of Madras, where he was a standout in basketball, football, soccer, cross country and baseball. As a senior at Madras, Ellsbury hit .430 with three homers, four triples, nine doubles and 20 RBIs, going 29-for-29 on stolen bases. He was a first-team all-state selection and was drafted in the 23rd round of the MLB amateur draft before deciding to attend Oregon State. As a member of the Beavers in 2005, Ellsbury was a Baseball America first-team All-American, Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year and team Co-MVP. He was the 23rd overall selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft by the Boston Red Sox. He made his major league debut in 2007, helping Boston win the 2007 World Series. He led the American League in steals in 2008, 2009 and 2013. He was also a member of the Red Sox 2013 World Series championship team before signing with the New York Yankees in 2014.
--Mike Richman

6 Neil Lomax vs. 3 Bob Lilly

Neil Lomax
Born in Portland, and a Portland State University standout quarterback, Neil Lomax once held 90 NCAA passing records. His senior year as a Viking in 1980, he tossed for 4,094 yards and 37 touchdowns. For his career at PSU, he racked up 13,220 passing yards with 107 touchdowns. He was a Pro Bowl quarterback for two seasons, 1984 and 1987, as part of the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals, during his nine-year NFL career.
--Billy Gates

Bob Lilly
Bob Lilly was born in Throckmorton, Texas, in 1939 but moved to Pendleton for High School.  Lilly earned All-State honors in both football and basketball his senior year.  He accepted a scholarship to play football at Texas Christian University.  Lilly was named to the All-Southwest Conference team twice and was an All-American selection.  The Dallas Cowboys drafted Lilly with the 13th overall pick in the 1961 NFL Draft.  Lilly played in 196 games for the Cowboys from 1961 to 1974.  He was a seven time first-team All-Pro selection, two-time second-team All-Pro selection and eight-time All-Conference Selection.  Lilly became a Super Bowl champion when the Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in 1972.  He still holds an NFL record for 29-yard sack of Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
--Jen Beyrle

Les Gutches vs. 2 Galen Rupp

Les Gutches
Les Gutches was born in Southern Oregon in 1973 and attended South Medford High School.  Gutches won three state championships while wrestling for the Panthers.  After high school, he attended Oregon State University and was a four-year letterman on the wrestling team.  He won the NCAA individual titles in the 177-pound weight class in both 1995 and 1996.  Gutches was awarded the Dan Hodge Trophy in 1996, which recognizes the nation's best collegiate wrestler.  He was an All-American selection his sophomore, junior and senior seasons at Oregon State.  After college graduation, Gutches won the gold medal at the 1997 Wrestling World Championships in the freestyle competition.
--Jen Beyrle

Galen Rupp
Rupp, who grew up in Portland, was a standout runner at Central Catholic High School where he graduated in 2004. While at Central Catholic, Rupp won two cross country state championships in 2002 and 2004 and three individual titles in track (1,500 meters in 2003 and 3,000 meters in 2003 and 2004). He set Oregon state records in the 1,500 meters and mile. His mile time of 4:01.8 is the eighth fastest ever run by an American high schooler. Rupp attended the University of Oregon in 2004 where he set junior records in 10,000 and 3,000 meters. He won the 10,000 meters at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships from 2009-10. He earned a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team where he won a silver medal in the 10,000 meters. In 2014, he set the American record for the 10,000 meters. He also holds the American record for indoor track in the 3,000 meters, 5,000 meters and the 2-mile.
--Mike Richman

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Galen Rupp and his wife become parents Tuesday in Portland

Published Jan 01, 0001

The baby boy and baby girl are healthy.

Olympian Galen Rupp's wife, Keara, gave birth to twins Tuesday in Portland.

Keara Rupp delivered a healthy baby boy and baby girl, both weighing more than six pounds, according to Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar.

Rupp won the silver medal in the 10,000 meters at the 2012 Olympics. He holds U.S. records in the 10,000 meters, and indoors in the 3,00 and 5,000 meters, and two miles.

A Central Catholic and University of Oregon graduate, Rupp trains with the Portland-based Oregon Project.

Keara Rupp is a former UO distance runner.

-- Ken Goe | @KenGoe

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With the IAAF World Juniors in the rearview mirror, we say goodbye for now; Oregon track & field rundown

Published Jan 01, 0001

Shalane Flanagan will attempt to break the U.S, women's marathon record in Berlin.

When I returned to part-time track & field writing in 2004, it was mostly because Martin Smith -- then the University of Oregon coach -- had made the UO men's team competitive again while simultaneously earning the displeasure of Nike co-founder Phil Knight.

It made for an interesting narrative, which continued with Smith's resignation immediately before the 2005 outdoor season and Vin Lananna's arrival as successor that summer.

Suddenly the part-time track & field writing gig took over my life from January to July as Eugene began landing the U.S. Olympic Trials for track & field every four years, and the UO Ducks began winning NCAA indoor titles.

The assignment quickly evolved beyond the UO team, with world-class elite training groups such as the Bowerman Track Club, the Nike Oregon Project and Oregon Track Club Elite starting and flourishing in Portland and Eugene.

By most metrics, the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene is the world's top invitational. This year the up-and-coming Portland Track Festival featured double Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah.

Track & Field and road racing might be niche sports elsewhere. They are big news here.

This year's narrative played out through July when the USA Junior Championships and World Junior Championships both came to Eugene.

All of it is fun to watch and cover. This sport is filled with intelligent, articulate and approachable people. They all have interesting and compelling lives.

But I do have another assignment at The Oregonian as a part-time columnist and college football writer. The college football season looms.

This is a long-winded way of saying I'm taking a few weeks off, and will return to college football for the fall.

The Oregon track & field rundown goes into hibernation after today. Unless my assignment at The Oregonian changes, I will resume it in 2015 after the college indoor season begins.

In the interim, I will continue to follow breaking news about track athletes and events that touch on Oregon, including Eugene's pursuit of the 2019 IAAF World Outdoor Championships.

For daily coverage and links there are a number of excellent websites. Among them are LetsRun.com, Track & Field News, Runner's World, RunnerSpace.com, Flotrack and the Daily Relay.

OK, links:

Shalane Flanagan will be shooting for the U.S. record in the Berlin Marathon.

Austrian World Juniors' mid-distance runner Nikolaus Franzmair says he will run for the Ducks next year in this video.

Three of the four missing athletes from the Ethiopian World Juniors team have been found in Beaverton.

Large Ethiopian community in the Portland area can help the four athletes.

The four athletes come from a troubled country.

One Ethiopian athlete still is missing.

UO spokeswoman Julie Brown says the school now considers the case on the Ethiopians closed.

The Oregon cross country team will play host to Michigan State the day before the football team does.

IMG_6816Vin Lananna 

TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna calls the World Junior Championships "a grand success."

Lananna declares victory, and prepares to move on. I find it interesting that he makes a point of saying no decision has been made on whether to submit a bid for the 2019 World Outdoor Championships. A lot of legwork has gone into preparing for a bid. I think it would be major news now if Eugene chooses to opt out.

The experts from LetsRun.com devote a lot of space to the World Juniors in their "The Week That Was." They also discuss Mary Cain and Mo Farah of the Nike Oregon Project.

The UO professor who composed a piece for the World Juniors 10,000 says the idea worked, and music might be commissioned for another track event.

Fan voting is open for The Bowerman. UO athletes Edward Cheserek and Laura Roesler are finalists.

Ryan Vail finds the The Giro Podistico di Castelbuono 10k a challenging race and a fun experience.

Suzy Favor Hamilton had a choice to make after her world collapsed, and she writes that she has chosen not to hide.

Former Bowerman Track Club distance runner Lisa Uhl talks about the health concerns that slowed her earlier in the season in this video from the Quad-City Times.

Jenny Simpson embraces Emma Coburn's success.

The multi-dimensional Lawrence Okoye prepares for the NFL seaosn.

Germany wins the Thorpe Cup; Team USA's Wes Bray is the individual winner.

The U.S. track & field community mourns the loss of Torrin Lawrence.

Olympic champion Anna Chicherova will miss the European Championships because of injury.

The Flotrack crazies bounce from the World Juniors to the Commonwealth Games, and discuss whether the Nike Oregon Project's Cam Levins can medal in Glasgow.

The experts at LetsRun.com preview the Commonwealth Games men's 800, and the showdown between David Rudisha and Nijel Amos.

Jamaican Kemar Bailey-Coles wins the Commonwealth Games men's 100.

Nigerian Blessing Okagbare sets a Commonwealth Games record while winning the women's 100.

Okagbare and Bailey-Coles win Commonwealth titles in the 100.

The front page for LetsRun.com.

The links package from Track & Field News.

The oregon14.com home page.

Runner's World's daily wrap of racing news.

The links from Duck Sports Now.

-- Ken Goe | @KenGoe

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Terry Baker, Robin Reed and more in Oregon's Greatest Athlete Round of 32 Day 2 (vote)

Published Jan 01, 0001

Robin Reed, Tiffeny Milbrett and others are also up for voting today.

Voting continues today in the Round of 32 in our quest to name Oregon's Greatest Athlete of All Time. Check back Wednesday and Thursday for voting in other regionals and we'll reveal the updated bracket (see complete Round of 32) and the leaders of the Oregon's Greatest Athlete Bracket Challenge on Friday. Voting is open for each set of matchups for 24 hours (6 a.m.-6 a.m.).

!2011 Template 

TODAY'S MATCHUPS (scroll down for bios, polls and full bracket)

Oregon Grape Regional

(Round of 64 voting results)

Terry Baker vs. 9 Mac Wilkins

Bill Johnson vs. 4 Dave Wilcox

11 Bobby Moore (Ahmad Rashad) vs. 3 Dale Murphy

10 Tiffeny Milbrett vs. 2 Robin Reed

ATHLETE BIOS and POLLS (open till 6 a.m. Wednesday)

Terry Baker vs. 9 Mac Wilkins

Terry Baker
Baker was born in Minnesota before moving to Portland and attending Jefferson High School in late 1950s. He helped Jefferson win the city title in basketball in 1959 and led the baseball team to a state title during the same season. In football, he led Jefferson to back-to-back undefeated seasons and state championships during his junior and senior seasons. He played both basketball and football at Oregon State. Baker won the Heisman Trophy in 1962 and following it up by guiding the Beavers to the Final Four. He was a consensus all-American in 1962 and won  the Maxwell Award as the nation's top football player. The Los Angeles Rams selected him first overall in the 1963 NFL Draft. He played three seasons for the Rams before spending one season with Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League in 1966. He was elected to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and Oregon State Hall of Fame in 1988.
- Mike Richman

Mac Wilkins
Mac Wilkins was born in Eugene in 1950 and graduated from Clover Park High School in Lakewood, Wash., in 1968.  Following high school graduation, Wilkins attended the University of Oregon and was the last thrower Bill Bowerman coached.  Under Bowerman, Wilkins became one of the best discus throwers in United States history.  In a meet in 1976, he reset the world discus record three times. He held the world record from 1976 to 1978.  Wilkins competed in the 1976 and 1984 Olympic games but missed the 1980 Summer Olympics because of the United States boycott. He won gold in 1976 in Montreal, Canada and took silver at the 1984 games held in Los Angeles.  Wilkins was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and is also a member of the U.S. Track & Field Hall of Fame.
--Jen Beyrle

Bill Johnson vs. 4 Dave Wilcox

Bill Johnson
Bill Johnson was born in Los Angeles in 1960 and later moved to Brightwood, Oregon, where he attended Sandy High School.  Living near Mount Hood, Johnson developed a passion for skiing and made his World Cup debut in 1983.  In 1984 Johnson entered the Lauberhorn downhill in Wengen, Switzerland and won.  Johnson qualified for the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia that same year.  He took home the gold medal in a time of 1:24:59, beating the second place finisher by .27 seconds.  Johnson became the first American to win an Olympic downhill gold medal and the first American man to win an Olympic skiing gold medal.
--Jen Beyrle

Dave Wilcox
Dave Wilcox was born in 1942 in Ontario, Ore., before attending Vale High School in 1960.  After Vale, Wilcox enrolled at Boise Junior College to play football where he earned junior college All-America honors.  He accepted a scholarship to the University of Oregon after two seasons.  Wilcox helped lead the Ducks to their first bowl game in 47 seasons, with a 21-14 victory over SMU in the Sun Bowl.  He then participated in the Hula Bowl, and the All-American bowl game and received the game's MVP award.  The San Francisco 49ers selected Wilcox with the 29th overall pick of the 1964 NFL Draft.  The defensive lineman turned linebacker played his 11-year professional career in San Francisco.  Wilcox was selected to play in seven Pro Bowls and was named All-NFL five times and All-NFC three times.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.        
--Jen Beyrle

11 Bobby Moore (Ahmad Rashad) vs. 3 Dale Murphy

Bobby Moore (Ahmad Rashad)
 
Ahmad Rashad was born in Portland and earned a football scholarship from the University of Oregon in 1967 while attending Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Wash.  After high school graduation, Rashad -- then known as Bobby Moore -- played running back and wide receiver for Oregon.  In his two years with the Ducks, Rashad rushed for 2,333 yards and accumulated over 1,500 receiving yards.  The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Rashad fourth overall in the 1972 NFL Draft.   He spent two seasons with the Cardinals and one season with the Buffalo Bills before arriving in Minnesota.  Rashad earned four Pro Bowl selections from 1978 to 1981 while with the Vikings.  He finished his professional career catching 495 passes for 6,831 yards and 44 touchdowns.  Rashad was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007 and currently works as a sports broadcaster for NBC Sports.
-- Jen Beyrle

Dale Murphy
Born in Portland, Murphy collected 2,111 hits and 398 home runs in his career, which spanned from 1976 to 1993. He spent 14 seasons with Atlanta and was a seven-time MLB All-Star, won back-to-back MVP awards in 1982 and 1983, won five Gold Glove awards and four Silver Slugger awards. His No. 3 has been retired by the Atlanta organization. He won the Roberto Clemente Award, which "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team," in 1988. He also played for Philadelphia and Colorado late in his career.
--Billy Gates

10 Tiffeny Milbrett vs. 2 Robin Reed

Tiffeny Milbrett
Milbrett was the pride of Hillsboro High School on the pitch in the late 1980s, and then became the pride of the nation. Milbrett, who played her college soccer at the University of Portland, won a gold medal as part of the United States Women's National Team in 1996 at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, and a silver medal in the 2000 games in Sydney. She earned 204 caps and scored 100 goals for the USWNT during her 15-year career with the team from 1991-2006. While at UP, she set a school record for career goals with 103.
--Billy Gates

Robin Reed
Reed, who attended Franklin High School in Portland and Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State), is widely considered the greatest amateur wrestler in history. He won three AAU national championships while at OAC, and he coached Corvallis High School to a state title while he attended college. Reed won the Olympic gold medal at the 1924 games at 134.5 pounds, and won the Pacific Northwest Olympic Trials at four different weight classes. He won every match at the Olympics by fall, and led the OAC Beavers to the 1926 AAU team championship, the first-ever national title for the now Oregon State Beavers. He known for never losing a wrestling match at any level, despite often wrestling in classes above his actual weight.
--Billy Gates

greatest-athlete-round32.jpgView full size 
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Shalane Flanagan will be shooting for the U.S record in September's Berlin Marathon

Published Jan 01, 0001

Targeting the Berlin Marathon forced Flanagan to drop out of the USA Championships.

Shalane Flanagan will go hunting for the U.S. women's marathon record on Sept. 28 in Berlin.

"I have tiered goals," Flanagan said. "I want to run another PR. I want to break 2:20 – that's another big goal for women. And then the American record."

Flanagan, who has Nike sponsorship and trains with the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club, last was seen on a marathon course in April in Boston. She led the women's race for the first 19 miles before finishing seventh in 2 hours, 22 minutes, 2 seconds, a personal record.

Deena Kastor has owned the U.S. record of 2:19:36 since 2006.

Flanagan, 33, has that targeted, and she knows her window of opportunity is limited.

"I'm getting older," she said. "I feel like if I want to go for one really fast marathon without something big on the line, if I want to give myself one shot to run on a fast course and run to my potential, I shouldn't wait too much longer."

She and Bowerman Track Club coach Jerry Schumacher examined their options. They decided this fall was the optimum time and Berlin the optimum course.

"We think Berlin is one of the fastest, if not the fastest courses," Flanagan said. "There were too many variables with Chicago, and you would be gambling with the weather."

Once Flanagan committed to Berlin, she began to rethink running the 10,000 meters in last month's USA Track & Field Championships.

It would have compromised her training schedule for the marathon, which called for her to be at altitude then.

"I had to pick," she said. "I could contend for a national championship or go for the American record in the marathon. It was tough. Sometimes you want to do it all."

Flanagan wavered on the decision. Ultimately, Schumacher helped her decide to pull out of the USA Championships.

She did it with regret. Flanagan holds the U.S. record in the 10,000 of 30:22.22, which she set en route to the 2008 Olympic bronze medal. She won U.S. titles in the 10,000 in 2011 and 2013.

She always has prided herself on her range and her ability to excel at a variety of distances, on the track and off.

"I want to be versatile and show I'm still relevant on the track for Nike and for myself," she said. "I still want to do track stuff. But sometimes you're forcing it and asking too much of your body."

Flanagan hopes to return to the track for the 2015 USA Championships. But it's not a sure thing, especially if she runs the Boston Marathon or another spring marathon.

"It's a quick turnaround and it sure isn't easy to get some rest and then get your legs back under you," she said. "There is a reason that not a lot of people do it."

In the meantime, Flanagan remained on pace for Berlin by winning the Chicago Half Marathon on July 20 by more than four minutes in 1:09:44 seconds.

-- Ken Goe | @KenGoe

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