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Former Lakeridge track star takes part in viral video

Lakeridge alum Mandy White continues to turn heads on and off the track

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON - Mandy White was a standout track star at Lakeridge and the University of Oregon and recently appeared in a popular Nike ad featuring some of the university's prominent athletes.The University of Oregon has become synonymous with Nike in recent years in large part because of the school’s relationship with Nike co-founder Phil Knight. The City of Lake Oswego saw the connection first hand when one of its former track stars, Lakeridge and Oregon alum Mandy White, appeared in Nike’s latest ad, a video that went viral in less than a day.

The video is an ode to the University of Oregon’s most prolific athletes, including White, who helped push UO’s track and field program to the elite status it enjoys today.

The video is one big reference to an iconic scene in the movie “Animal House,” in which Otis Day and the Knights play the famous song “Shout” at a fraternity toga party. Former Oregon athletes recreated the movie moment – which was filmed on Oregon’s campus prior to its release in 1978 – for Nike earlier this year.

The video has already garnered more than 2 million views on YouTube and nearly 5,000 likes in about two weeks since hitting the web. While White credits her father for her inclusion in the video – Howard White is the Vice President of Jordan Brand at Nike – the records she put up at Oregon speak for themselves.

White finished 10th in the nation her junior season in the 100-meters in 2010 making her the first 100-meter All-American in school history. She was also a part of three Pac-10 Championship teams and ran the first leg of the 2010-11 4X100 meter relay team that earned third in the nation and All-America status.

“My dad works at Nike so I think somebody that works there thought about me” White says of how the experience came about. “They reached out to him to see if I wanted to participate and it was something I couldn’t pass up.”

White joined a handful of notable athletes as well as a select few other recognizable public figures that have come out of Eugene. White appeared in the video alongside former UO track star English Gardner, Oregon football all-time leading rushers LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner, football All-Americans Joey Harrington, Ahmad Rashad, Dan Fouts and Dennis Dixon, 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, “Modern Family” star Ty Burrell, Olympic Gold Medalist Ashton Eaton, SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett and Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield among others.

White said “it was an honor” to be included with so many Oregon greats, and was really excited to see the positive responses she received from friends and family.

“It was pretty incredible to be there with so many Oregon greats,” she says. “It was a lot of fun to see some of the athletes that I went to school with and some others that I hadn’t met, also.

“I heard from a lot of my Lakeridge friends right when the video came out. It was pretty cool to hear from so many people that they saw it and enjoyed it.”

White said it took a few hours to shoot her part, but that not everyone in the video was there at the same time. Filmed in Los Angeles, it was an easy enough commute for White, who has lived there the past couple years while training for the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships.

After taking about a year off to deal with a persistent illness and a torn quad in April that put her out six weeks, White is fully back in the swing of things with aspirations of qualifying for the United States team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I went to Colorado a few weeks ago and ran in the 100-meters, and ran 10.88,” she said. “It was pretty fast even though it was a hand time and didn’t really count. I start training hard again later in the fall closer to November.”

Filming the Nike video, which took place directly following Oregon’s Rose Bowl victory over Florida State Jan. 1, served as a nice break, White said.

And while she’s been busy preparing for what she hopes is a big year in her track career, she says she still tries to follow Lakeridge when she can.

“Sammy Ibarra, who was my relay coach and who is still there (at Lakeridge), calls me every now and then and keeps me up to date with how Lakeridge is doing,” she says. “I owe a lot to that school and those coaches.”