Oregon announced a track and field recruiting class Wednesday that will add one of the nation's top high school sprinters and distance runners to the men's team, and bolster the international running prowess of its women's team.
“I think it’s a great start,” coach Robert Johnson said if his 13 signed recruits, adding that more could be on their way once the 2019 high school track and field season is ends.
Among those announced Wednesday was Tyrese Cooper of Miami, Fla., a seven-time New Balance Nationals champion in the 200 and 400 meters, the 2017 U.S. Junior champion in the 200 and the national high school record-holder in the indoor 400 at 46.01 seconds.
He has personal records of 10.34 in the 100, 20.46 in the 200 and 45.23 in the 400.
“Cooper is a great dude, really fun kid,” Johnson said. “Enjoyed talking to him, enjoyed meeting his people.”
The Ducks also signed Indianapolis distance runner Cole Hocker, who won the 2018 Foot Locker Nationals cross country championship race and was the runner-up at the 2018 Nike Cross Nationals. He has PRs of 4:08.04 in the 1,600 and 9:06.47 in the 3,200.
Middle distance graduate transfer Mari Smith from Birmingham University in England ran a 2:02.34 in the women’s indoor 800 during the Muller Grand Prix this winner and she was the British indoor runner-up in February.
Distance runner Aneta Konieczek of Poland transfers from Western Colorado where she was a five-time NCAA Division II all-American and ran 10:01.02 in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase. Distance runner Alessia Zarbo of France finished third at the 2018 European U18 Championships at 3,000 in a PR 9:25.25.
The Oregon women also signed Mathilde Rey, a freshman transfer from College Andre-Chavanne in Geneva, Switzerland. She was the IAAF World U20 Championships qualifier in the heptathlon and scored 5,606 points; sprinter/jumper Alysah Hickey of Coronado, Calif., who has a long jump PR of 20 feet, one-half inch; sprinter/jumper Miya Wilson of Maple Valley, Wash.; and sprinter Chi Okoro of Pleasanton, Calif.
The Oregon men also added middle distance runner Luis Peralta of Passaic, N.J., who was the 2018 New Balance Nationals champion in the 800 and the runner-up in 2019. He had the No. 2 prep time in the national last year at 1:49.10.
Thrower Ty Hampton from North Bend High School is a two-time OSAA state champion and the Class 4A state meet record-holder in the javelin with a mark of 208-9 from 2017. He won the discus title in 2018 with a throw of 160-10. Thrower Eric Lyon of Mount Bethel, Pa., has a javelin PR of 179-11 and jumper Keith Drapeau of Elgin, Okla., is a five-time state champion in the high jump with a PR of 6-8.