Oregon sends 45 to ncaa championships IN EUGENE!
AUSTIN – The Oregon track and field team closed strong at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds on Saturday, a big qualifying day for the Ducks with 24 more entries to the NCAA Championships. Oregon finished the weekend with 45 entries to the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field, June 10-13. The Men of Oregon will have 23 entries while the women will have 22. “For our men’s and women’s teams to be represented in all but three events, it gives meaning to when we say we try to be a balanced program,” head coach Robert Johnson said. “I’m really proud and excited about that.”
The group of women’s 1,500-meter runners thrived on the NCAA stage as the Ducks went 4-for-4 in qualifying on Saturday, each setting personal bests along the way. In the first of two heats, Nikki Hiltz (4:16.13) and Alli Cash (4:16.56) qualified as part of the top five finishers with Katie Porada advancing on time (4:17.04). Ashley Maton was the lone Duck in the second heat and positioned herself nicely with 400 meters to go before finishing second in 4:18.38.
The men’s 1,500-meter runners had similar success with three competitors moving on to Eugene. Blake Haney (3:42.75), Daniel Winn (3:43.11) and Johnny Gregorek (3:43.17) each finished in the top five of their heats to qualify. The distance crew continued to add to its numbers later in the night with four men advancing in the men’s 5,000. Edward Cheserek won the first heat in 14:11.66 followed by redshirt freshman Jake Leingang who finished fourth in 14:12.27. In the second heat, Will Geoghegan(13:50.21) and Eric Jenkins (13:51.45) finished second and fourth, respectively to punch their tickets to the national meet.
Molly Grabill represented the Ducks in the women’s 5,000 and qualified in 16:04.62 to solidify her double in Eugene, paired with the 10,000. Jenna Prandini concluded her busy weekend by qualifying to Eugene in the 200 by finishing second in her heat (22.98). It marks the third event for Prandini who qualified in the long jump on Thursday and the 100 on Friday.
On the men’s side Arthur Delaney will represent Oregon in the men’s 200 after scoring in the event last season. Delaney finished second in his quarterfinal heat in 20.73. Both Oregon’s men’s and women’s 4x100 teams solidified their NCAA Championships bid. The women’s team of Wallace, Ashante Horsley, Jasmine Todd and Marybeth Sant finished in 44.78 while the men’s team of Tony Brooks-James, Charles Nelson, Arthur Delaney and Marcus Chambers ran the third-fastest time in school history of 39.55 to advance.
The same goes for Oregon’s 4x400 teams. The team of Ben Thiel, Arthur Delaney, Russell Hornsby and Marcus Chambers ran the seventh fastest time in the west (3:05.14) which ranks eighth in school history. The women’s team of Christian Brennan, Ashante Horsley, Annie Leblanc and Raevyn Rogers finished eighth overall and third in their heat with a time of 3:33.69.
Defending national champion in the javelin Sam Crouser finished second in the West Prelim with a throw of 246-5 (75.10m) on his second attempt as he will head back to Hayward Field to defend his title. Brittany Mann took fifth in the women’s shot put to advance. The redshirt sophomore will look to score in the event for the second-straight year after taking seventh last season at the outdoor championships.
Sasha Wallace and Johnathan Cabral take part in the hurdles in Eugene after both qualified with the fourth-fastest times out of the West on Saturday. Wallace took second in her heat of the 100 hurdles in 13.21. Cabral, who suffered an injury at the 2014 NCAA prelim and did not finish, will look for redemption this year after running 13.67 in the quarterfinal.
Freshman Nate Moore will double for the Ducks in the jumps thanks to a qualifying mark in the triple jump on Saturday after already doing so in the long jump. Moore finished 10th with a best of 51-3.75 (15.64m) on his first attempt. Liz Brenner finished sixth in the women’s javelin with a big clutch throw on her final attempt of 158-6 (48.31m) to put her in the NCAA Championships for the third-consecutive year.
The Ducks will begin their hunt for a pair of national championships, Wednesday, June 10 at Hayward Field in Eugene. Tickets are still available at www.goducks.com.