Monday, August 16, 2010

Rainier Beach quarter-miler and world junior champ Michael Berry heads to Oregon...

EUGENE, Oregon--The University of Oregon bolstered its 2010 men’s track and field recruiting class with the signing of the No. 2-ranked quarter-miler in the nation as announced Monday by Associate Athletic Director and head track & field coach Vin Lananna.

Michael Berry (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport) of Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School clocked an impressive 46.13 in winning the 400 meters at the USATF National Junior Olympics Aug. 1 in Sacramento, Calif. That was the second-fastest 400 by a high schooler in the U.S. in 2010.

“We are extremely pleased to have one of the top quarter-milers in the nation coming to Track Town, USA,” said Lananna. “These additions to an already excellent recruiting class should give us great depth and talent in the 400 and the relays."

Berry recorded the second-fastest prep 400 meter time in the nation, 46.13, in winning the 400 meters at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships in Sacramento, Calif. He was nearly as impressive a few weeks earlier in a fourth-place finish at the 2010 USA Junior Track & Field Championships in 46.39.

Berry’s busy summer also included the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, where he anchored the United States’ winning 4x400 meter relay, which took the victory in 3:04.76, with a 46.0 closing leg.

He won back-to-back Washington state 400 meter titles for Rainier Beach High School. He took the title as a junior in 2009 in 47.93, and then came back as a senior and won in 46.81. Berry added the state 200 meter title to his resume in 2010, winning in 21.83, and was the runner-up at 100 meters (11.30). He clocked his best times in the 100 (10.89) and 200 (21.59) at the Seattle Metro Championships.

Berry won every race at 200 and 400 meters his senior high school season.

In a short conversation with Berry's high school and club coach, former Cleveland Browns running back Eric Metcalf, his choices included Baylor, Texas Tech, and the University of Florida.

NOTE: The University of Oregon sports information office contributed to this report.

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