Yet again, the Ducks have nabbed another distance talent.
And it's not just any other high school distance recruit. Rather, she may be the best girls distance talent in the nation in the Class of 2023.
Just a week after landing a commitment from MileSplit's fourth-ranked recruit Connor Burns (Southern Boone County, MO), Lily Cridge announced on Instagram her decision to join the University of Oregon track and field/cross country program beginning in the fall of 2023. She can officially sign on November 9, which begins the opening of the National Letter of Intent period.
The Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (IN) star will pack her bags and take her talents from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest, as MileSplit's 10th-ranked girls recruit will become a key part of the eye-catching allure that comes with being an Oregon Duck.
"Couldn't pass up the Hayward Magic," wrote Cridge in an Instagram post announcing her commitment.
That Hayward Magic has become a focal point thus far in the recruiting season as the NCAA powerhouse looks to rebuild under the new leadership of former Bowerman Track Club coaches Jerry Schumacher and Shalane Flanagan. In the past month alone, Oregon has added a top-five boys talent and two top-20 girls recruits, according to MileSplit's rankings.
Cridge burst onto the scene last fall with her runner-up finish at the Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships in 16:22.81 -- the sixth-fastest 5k cross country all-time performance, according to our database. That RunningLane showing made her the fastest girl in the nation heading into her senior season on the course in 2022.
Currently, Cridge sits in the top 10 on our MileSplit50 individual rankings and has so far clocked a season's best of 17:11.00 for 5k.
Cridge joins in-state talent Kate Peters (Lake Oswego), who ranks 16th on our MileSplit class of 2023 recruiting list, as a member of the Ducks' 2023 distance recruiting class. Adding Cridge certainly boosts Oregon's resume for the next incoming class of recruits, if the pull of Schumacher and Flanagan wasn't enough already.
The women of Oregon currently rank 22nd in the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll three weeks into the collegiate cross country season.
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