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Salazar and the Oregon Project win team battle in Des Moines

Salazar and the Oregon Project win team battle in Des Moines

DES MOINES -- As the 2013 United States Outdoor Track and Field Championships come to an end on Sunday afternoon, the national team headed to the IAAF World Championship in Moscow will be comprised of several athletes from big-name teams.

Before they leave, we're wondering who "won?"

The Nike Oregon Project dominated their respective events wins or top three finishes or wins in each of their races (The only exception was
Luke Puskedra, who finished eighth in the men's 10,000-meter run.) Coach Alberto Salazar heads back to Portland all smiles. 

Jordan Hasay - Women's 10,000-meter run
Tara Erdmann - Women's 10,000-meter run
Galen Rupp - Men's 10,000-meter run and 5,000-meter run
Dathan Ritzenhein - Men's 10,000-meter run
Matt Centrowitz - Men's 1,500-meter run
Treniere Moser - Women's 1,500-meter run
Mary Cain* - Women's 1,500-meter run
*Cain is not an official member of the Oregon Project, but is coached by Salazar.

The plan in the coming weeks is to get the standards needed by Hasay and Erdmann to secure their spots on the team. There has been talk of possibly having them race in a co-ed 10,000-meter race in Portland, Ore, but that is just a rumor. Other members of the team will rest for a short period of time before heading to Europe for tune-up meets. 

Note: Success continued in Canada with Cam Levins winning the 5,000-meter final in Moncton with his time of 14:11.63. Mo Farah dominated the men's 5,000-meter run at the European Team Championship as he closed his 14:10 with a 50.89 second last lap. 

It was a weekend of disappointment for most of the Oregon Track Club. The team brought twelve athletes to Des Moines, but only Ashton Eaton, Nick Symmonds and Jesse Williams will head to Moscow.

2011 World Champion Jesse Williams finished ninth, but has a spot reserved on the team due to his win from Daegu. He cleared 2.20-meters, but was still hampered by an ankle injury. His season best comes from Mt. SAC Relays, where he cleared 2.31-meters.

Eaton is coming off a world record-setting season and just barely edged out 2012 World Junior Decathlon Champion Gunnar Nixon with a final score of 8,291 to 8,198. Nick Symmonds' national title streak over 800-meters ended as he ran 1:43.70 and finished second behind Duane Solomon's 1:43.27. Eaton and Symmonds were a part of the 2012 Olympic team in London. 

The shortcomings outweigh the victories across other fronts. 

Tyler Mulder - 5th place in the Men's 800-meter run (1:45.13)
Cyrus Hostetler - 12th place in the men's javelin throw (70.51-meters)
Bridget Franek - 12th place in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:17.32)
Aisha Praught - 11th place in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:17.32)
Andrew Wheating - 12th place in the men's 1,500-meter run (4:01.55)
Julia Lucas - 12th place in the women's 5,000-meter run (16:09.51) 
Russell Brown - 9th place in the men's 1,500-meter run (3:46.94)
Ben Blankenship - 10th place in the men's 1,500-meter run (3:46.95)
Elijah Greer (debut) - 4th place in the men's 800-meter run (1:45.04) 

Things were just a bit better for coach Jerry Schumacher's crew. The Nike training group took the top two places in the men's steeplechase with favorite
Evan Jager crossing the finish line in 8:20.67 and training partner Dan Huling following in 8:22.62. 

Shalane Flanagan
has the only other victory from the weekend with her 10,000-meter win in 31:43.20 on Thursday night. Teammate Kara Goucher succumbed to the heat and placed fifth with an outside chance of making the national team if Hasay or Erdmann fail to produce a qualifying time. Had she made the team, she would have taken a point from the Oregon Project score and added one to the Schumacher team. The classic two-point swing.

That same night,
Chris Derrick made his first USA track team with a third place finish in 28:52.25 for the men's 10,000-meter run. Lopez Lomong also snuck into a third place finish for the men's 1,500-meter run, but will need to chase to confirm that spot. 

Matt Tegenkamp
will focus on the marathon for the fall after finishing seventh for the men's 10,000-meter run. Andy Bumbalough ran 14:57.12 for fifth place in the men's 5,000-meter run. Chris Solinsky crossed the finish line for eighth place in 15:09.47. 

Alan Webb was also in Des Moines to cheer on his wife, Julia, who finished ninth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. His name was on the list of athletes not accepted for the men's 5,000-meter run that only had nine runners. 

Moscow will have its fill of Oregon connected athletes, but as the teams return to the West Coast, the Oregon Project continues to flex its muscles as the most dominant.

Final Score:
Salazar 6
Schumacher 5
Rowland 3

Chris Chavez is a staff writer for Flotrack and a journalism major at Marquette University. He once beat Joey Fatone of NSYNC in a half-marathon. Feel free to to reach him with any questions, comments, or feedback on Twitter or by email. 
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