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Keeping it green, Chambers signs track scholarship with the Oregon Ducks

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on March 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm with 1 Comment »
March 6, 2013 4:18 pm

The fastest, most dynamic high-school 400-meter runner alive was in complete slow-play mode Wednesday.

College decision day was a little more than a formality for Foss High School’s Marcus Chambers. Basketball and football players plan extravagant announcement ceremonies, so why shouldn’t he?


And he did, inviting his entire school to the theater building to watch him pick a hat off the table among the five finalists vying for his quick-twitching services.

In the end, he chose the school he dubbed “track city” – Oregon – over Baylor, Louisiana State, UCLA and Southern California.

“It has been a big weight for me,” said Chambers, who admitted he finally made his decision in the past two weeks. “I’ve just been really excited the past couple of days to do this … and now I can focus on track and breaking records.”

How good are we talking about with Chambers? Only one other Washington sprinter in history has run faster than the Foss standout’s personal-best time of 46.18 seconds in the 400 – legendary Wilson High School runner Darrell Robinson.

Robinson’s time of 44.69, set in 1982, still stands as the national record for a high school sprinter.

“Everyone knows Darrell Robinson,” Chambers said. “My coaches still talk about him all the time.”

Last May, Chambers won the Class 3A state 200 and 400 titles at Mount Tahoma Stadium.

Running for Seatown Express and club coach Eric Metcalf, the former NFL running back, Chambers really emerged on the national scene in June when he placed fifth in the 400 against all levels and ages of runners at the USA Junior Outdoor Championships in Bloomington, Ind.

“That’s pretty much when people found out about me,” Chambers said.

In late July, Chambers dominated the 400 finals at the USATF National Junior Olympics in Baltimore, Md. by running 46.18 – making him the fastest returning high-school 400 runner in the nation.

Because of coach Clyde Hart’s longtime tenure at Baylor (50 years), and longstanding success coaching past U.S. Olympic 400-meter gold medalists Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner, the Bears were thought to be the favorites to land Chambers over the winter.

But on his official visit to Oregon in January, Chambers said he not only bonded with new coach Robert Johnson’s straight-forward personality, he added that his personal workouts and the Ducks’ training program almost aligned perfectly.

“I’ll be doing what I’ve been doing,” Chambers said.

On Wednesday, Chambers made sure to take time to celebrate his decision. A Foss track teammate was Chambers’ own personal master of ceremony. The school choir sang a number. And before Chambers came on stage, another classmate serenaded him with a song.

After a highlight video was shown to the packed theater, Chambers – dressed in a white shirt and green tie – finally sat down in between his mother, Debbie, and father, Mike, to announce his choice.

He feigned on picking the LSU, UCLA and Baylor hats before finally taking the Ducks’ hat from the middle of the row, and put it on his head.

“University of Oregon,” he shouted.

Leave a comment Comments → 1
  1. GO DUCKS !!!!

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