Lynne Winbigler Anderson emerged in the national spotlight just as the University was making strides in developing its women's intercollegiate sports program. An accomplished discus and shot put thrower, Anderson was Oregon's first woman to set an American-record, holding the top mark in the discus from 1977 to 1979. The three-time U.S. Discus National Champion (1976, 1978, 1979) made the U.S. Olympic team in 1976 and 1980. Anderson's success earned her charter membership into the UO Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. In recognition of her achievements, the UO Track and Field Department honors the top female athlete every year with the Lynne Winbigler Performer of the Year Award.
Anderson continues to play an influential role in the track and field world as she is now in her 25th year as an assistant coach for the University of Minnesota women's team. She is charged with overseeing the throws. Prior to 2000, she served as the men's throws coach as well.
Exemplifying true perseverance, Leann Warren overcame numerous injuries throughout her career to establish herself as one of the top female collegiate runners of all time. Warren showed signs of greatness early in her career as she set the U.S. Junior 800-meter record in 1979 as a senior in high school. The following year, Warren won her first AIAW National Championship as a member of Oregon's mile-relay team. She also set a school record in the 1980 U.S. Olympic Trials with her third-place finish. In 1981, Warren went on to capture two more AIAW titles in the 800-meters and 1,500-meters, winning the races within an hour of each other. The All-American also earned runner-up honors at the 1981 AIAW Cross Country Championships. Battling injuries, Warren underwent five knee operations in the next few years, sidelining her for two collegiate seasons. However, in 1985 she bounced back into action and helped lead her team to its first NCAA team title with her third-place finish in the 1,500-meters and fourth-place performance in the 800-meters.
Warren remains the UO record holder in the 1,500-meters and the mile. Also, she is ranked second in the 1,500-meters and sixth in both the 800-meters and the mile on the USA Track & Field All-Time Collegiate List.
Still topping the list of Oregon performances at the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000-meters distances, Kathy Hayes stands as one of the University's most accomplished female runners. The two-time Nor-Pac Champion complimented her four-time NCAA Track and Field All-American honors (1982-1985) with two cross-country All-American finishes (1983 and 1984). Hayes played an instrumental role in leading her team to a fourth-place finish at the 1984 NCAA Championships with her victory in the 10,000-meters. The following year, she chipped in a third-place finish in the 5,000-meters and a fifth-place feat in the 10,000-meters to help the Ducks capture the 1985 NCAA Championship title. Hayes's performances overflowed into her academic life as well, earning her GTE Academic All-American honors for three consecutive years (1983-1985). She is ranked fourth in both the 3,000 and 5,000-meters on the USA Track & Field's All-time Collegiate List.
Continuing on the tradition of middle-distance success established by Leann Warren, Claudette Groenendaal captured NCAA Championships in both the 800 and 1,500-meters distances. Groenendaal's first taste of success at Oregon came in 1983 as a member of the Ducks' NCAA Cross Country Championship team. The following track season she helped lead Oregon to an unexpected fourth-place finish at nationals, winning her first individual NCAA title in the 1,500-meters and earning runner-up honors in the 800-meters. In 1985, Groenedaal found similar success, capturing the 800-meter title and 1,500-meter runner-up bragging rights as the Oregon women won their first NCAA Track and Field Championship. In addition, Groenendaal won the U.S. National Championships in the 800-meters in both 1985 and 1986. She remains the top 800-meter runner on the USA Track & Field's All-Time Collegiate List and holds both the National Collegiate record and University of Oregon record at the same distance.
Today, Groenedaal continues to compete in the 800-meters and was ranked fourth in the United States in the 40+-age division during the 2004 season.
An All-American distance runner for Oregon, Lisa (Martin) Ondieki helped lead Oregon to the 1983 NCAA Cross Country Championship title. Although she found success at the collegiate level, Ondieki soon discovered her real niche as a marathon runner. She qualified for the Australian Olympic marathon team for three consecutive Olympiads: the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, the 1988 Seoul Games and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Her best performance occurred during the 1988 Games when she won silver with a time of 2:25.53. Prior to the Seoul Olympics, Ondieki set the Australian National Record in the marathon in Osaka on January 31, 1988. Her mark of 2:23.51 still stands at the top for an Australian.
Annette (Hand) Peters dominated distance races during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The two-time dual-event Pac-10 Champion captured the 3,000 and 5,000-meters titles in 1987 and the 1,500 and 3,000-meters crowns in 1988. She also won the 1987 Pac-10 Cross Country Championship and came in fifth at the NCAA Championships. Following up her stellar 1987 seasons, Peters won the 5,000-meter NCAA Championship in 1988. She went on to participate in the World Championships in 1991, 1993, and 1997 and the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. She was also a back-to-back USA National Champion at the 3,000-meters distance in 1993 and 1994 and held the American-record in the 5,000-meters in 1993. In addition to her many accomplishments, she also won the 1993 National Cross Country Championship and the 1993 U.S. 1,500-meter title.
Dual-sport standout Kelly Blair-LaBounty not only made two U.S. Olympic teams in the heptathlon, but also, she was two-time letter winner in basketball and three-time track and field All-American. During her career, Blair-LaBounty won the 1993 NCAA heptathlon title and was runner-up in the 1994 NCAA Championships. Her success continued after college as she became a three-time U.S. National Champion in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Blair also participated in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2000 Sydney Games, placing as high as sixth in Atlanta. She also competed in the 1995 and 1997 World Championships, placing 10th each time. Blair-LaBounty ranked as the top American in the heptathlon in 1996 and 1997, bettering the famous Jackie Joyner-Kersey.
Sarah Malone is one of Oregon's most recent track and field stars. The three-time All-American javelin thrower earned runner-up honors at the 2005 NCAA Championships and placed third at the U.S. Championships in June. During the 2005 NCAA West Regional Meet, her last at Hayward Field as a Duck, Malone bettered her school record at Oregon by seven feet, three inches. She also captured her first Pac-10 javelin title in 2005 after finishing with runner-up honors three times before (2001, 2002, and 2004). Her recent Pac-10 victory marked Oregon's ninth title in the javelin-more than any other event. After sitting out the 2003 season due to injuries, Malone bounced back, capturing second-place at the U.S. Olympic Trials and earning a trip to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.